Demonstrations To Benefit Thousands Of Veterans

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20th November 2008, 12:01pm - Views: 1000

Government Government Department Of Veterans' Affairs 1 image

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2602 

Telephone 02 6277 7820  Facsimile 02 6273 4140

The Hon Alan Griffin MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs


Thursday, 20 November 2008 


A new campaign launched today by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, targets the estimated

51,000 veterans, and the hundreds of thousands of other Australians who don’t use their puffers

properly.  The launch built on World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Day yesterday.

Speaking at the launch of the Prevent Puffer Problems campaign, Minister Griffin said as many as 80

per cent of veterans didn’t use their inhaled medicines properly. 

“Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases affect more than half a million Australians, including more

than 50,000 veterans,” Mr Griffin said. 

“This is a widespread chronic condition, causing many to suffer reduced quality of life as they struggle

for breath with day-to-day tasks.

“While there is no cure, many of the symptoms are readily treatable with medication inhaled through

puffers.  It was alarming to discover that many people, veterans included, fail to use their medication


“In researching the condition, my Department found that many busy health professionals weren’t easily

able to demonstrate the latest correct techniques to their patients, or assumed that their patients knew

how to use the devices properly. 

“The Prevent Puffer Problems campaign encourages veterans to check their technique with a local


“The campaign will provide awareness raising and educational materials for all GPs and pharmacists,

and focus on diagnoses, treatment and management.  A website has also been created for busy health

professionals where they can access specialised information and watch a demonstration of correct

techniques in a couple of minutes on the web,” Mr Griffin said. 

The campaign was developed in partnership with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Australian

Lung Foundation, the National Asthma Council of Australia, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, the

Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Australian General Practice Network.

Preventing Puffer Problems is especially important for veterans with long-standing respiratory illnesses.

“Our aim is to reduce hospital admissions and improve quality of life and enjoyment for tens of

thousands of members of the veteran community,” Mr Griffin said.

Media inquiries: Laura Ryan 0437 863 109

The VVCS – Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a

week on 1800 011 046.

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