On September 6 and 7 2013, Barcelona played host to a public lung function testing event in the city centre to raise awareness about spirometry, lung health and smoking cessation. The 2-day event, situated in the central Plaça de la Universitat, saw over 1,500 members of the public have their lungs tested by healthcare professionals from CREAL and the Hospital del Mar. The event coincided with the ERS Annual Congress 2013 and was organised by the European Lung Foundation (ELF) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS), in partnership with FC Barcelona, the European Commission (EC) and supported by the European COPD Coalition (ECC).
The event was opened on Friday morning by Jordi Monés, Director of the Medical Team at FC Barcelona; Cristina Iniesta Blasco, Councillor of Health for Barcelona; Monica Fletcher, Chair of ELF; Francesco Blasi, President of the ERS; Joaquim Gea, Chair of the ERS Congress and Judith Garcia, Co-Chair of the ERS Congress. To complete the grand opening, both Cristina Iniesta and Jordi Monés demonstrated a live spirometry test to the public and were the first people of the day to test their lung health.
Members of the public were then invited to test their own lungs by blowing into a spirometer to measure their lung capacity. Each testing session took place in a private booth with a healthcare professional on hand to offer information and advice about the results. Whilst waiting for the test, people were able to watch videos and read material provided in English, Catalan and Spanish, helping to raise awareness of the importance of lung health.
Patient organisations from across Spain were onsite throughout the event to offer guidance and information about lung health. The organisations were coordinated by Lovexair in order to unite the main respiratory associations of Spain and bring them together in Barcelona. They offered hands on support at the event and were there to offer advice to the many people who came to participate in the testing.
The one-off, interactive event also encouraged people to learn more about the ‘Quit Smoking with Barça’ campaign; a unique smoking cessation programme designed by FC Barcelona and the European Commission (EC). The collaboration between Barça and the ‘Ex-smokers are Unstoppable’ campaign has already been a phenomenal success and representatives were on hand to help even more people kick the habit. Visitors also had the chance the test their football skills by scoring a goal for lung health on the huge inflatable goalpost.
The event was a huge success and attracted media attention across Barcelona and caused ripples across social media sites. Local TV station TV3 filmed a live broadcast of the event to run on their evening news programme, while Barcelona TV filmed interviews with the Congress Chairs and ELF Chair, Monica Fletcher. Interest in the event was also created after posts from FC Barcelona generated almost 1,000 retweets.
ELF would like to thank the following people for their help and support with the event:
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