Millions of asthmatics are being told to switch to eco-friendly inhalers

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Millions of asthmatics are being told to switch to eco-friendly inhalers



MILLIONS of asthmatics are being told to switch to less polluting inhalers to help save the planet.
A health watchdog warns just five puffs from the most popular devices has the same carbon footprint as a nine-mile car trip.
Getty Millions of Brits suffering with asthma are being asked to switch their inhalers to eco-friendly ones
Around 70 per cent of inhalers used in Britain are powered by gas, which propels the drug into the lungs.
In comparison, these types make up just 10 per cent of the market in Sweden.
With the vast majority of Britain’s 5.4 million asthmatics using inhalers, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence wants them to switch to greener alternatives.
Using just 12 of the devices has the same carbon output as a person flying from London Heathrow to Paris.
The watchdog says UK patients should opt for less polluting devices that just contain a dry powder.
These greener inhalers produce 25 times less carbon dioxide.
RECYCLING PLEA
It is the first time the watchdog has addressed the environmental credentials of a medicine.
Officials claim the gas-powered devices – known as metered dose inhalers- are only needed for patients who struggle to take deep breaths.
Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive of Nice, said: “People who need to use metered dose inhalers should absolutely continue to do so, but if you have the choice of a green option, do think about the environment.
“Cutting carbon emissions is good news for everyone, especially those with respiratory conditions.”
More than 26 million prescriptions for gas-powered inhalers were written by GPs in England in 2016/17.
Watchdog bosses also want patients to return used inhalers to local pharmacies so that they can be safely disposed of, or to recycle them where the service is available.
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Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK said: “Asthma attacks are not only terrifying but they can be life-threatening.
It is vital that people with asthma have the inhaler that best suits their needs, and which will help to keep them well.
“If anyone is thinking about changing their inhaler or needs advice, we recommend that they visit their GP or asthma nurse.”
Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive of Nice, says ‘cutting carbon emissions is good news for everyone, especially those with respiratory conditions’
How to make sure you’re using your asthma inhaler correctly

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