Centers for Disease Control New Jersey Fact Sheet
The New Jersey Senate advanced a trio of healthcare bills sponsored by Senator Robert Singer to raise awareness, encourage prevention efforts, and support New Jersey residents coping with Skin Cancer, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS,) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Senator Singer’s bill, S-2459, ignites an aggressive effort to fight COPD by creating an 11-member task force to investigate strategies to promote awareness on the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. The task force will also study the resources that are used statewide to combat COPD and determine the best way to improve the quality and accessibility of community-based services for those living with this disease. Nearly 451,000 people – 5.1 percent of New Jersey’s population – are living with COPD, according to the most recent statistics available from the CDC.
“We need to do more to help the hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents struggling with COPD – the third leading cause of death in the U.S.,” said Senator Singer. “By establishing a task force to evaluate how we can raise awareness and expand community resources, we are helping countless New Jerseyans with COPD live fuller, happier lives.”
Many people with COPD find themselves avoiding activities that they used to enjoy because they become short of breath more easily. When COPD is severe, shortness of breath and other symptoms can get in the way of doing even the most basic tasks, such as doing light housework, taking a walk, even bathing and getting dressed. Symptoms include:
- Constant coughing (sometimes called “smoker’s cough”)
- Shortness of breath while doing activities you used to be able to do
- Excess sputum production
- Feeling like you can’t breathe
- Not being able to take a deep breath
Anyone with the following should get tested for COPD:
- A history of smoking
- Long-term exposure to air pollutants (including second-hand smoke)
- Chronic coughing with or without sputum
- Shortness of breath that has become worse over time
- Cannot keep up with people of your own age