Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is two lung diseases - emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Both conditions make it difficult for people to breathe properly.
The California COPD Coalition and the American Lung Association are teaming up to create a plan to call attention to the problem in California. Their hope is to devise a concrete method to help reduce the number of cases in the area.
The president of the ALA's California branch Jane Warner, notes work needs to be done to combat the disease.
"COPD is a major killer, claiming more than 120,000 lives each year. This plan directly addresses how everyone from insurers to employers to patients can work together to better address these diseases."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says early detection is key to treating the condition. One way to help prevent the disease is by not smoking or using tobacco. Both products are also associated with a number of other health conditions as well as higher life insurance rates.
There are a variety of programs available for those who want to quit smoking. A doctor can also suggest products to help aid in the process.