November 8, 1983
By the President of the United States of America
Chronic diseases of the lung afflict well over 17 million Americans, cause more than 200,000 deaths annually, and cost the Nation more than $29.4 billion in lost wages and medical expenses plus untold dollars in lost productivity.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases have been among the fastest rising causes of death. Almost seven million Americans, including over two million children, suffer from asthma. Two and one-half million Americans have emphysema, while almost eight million suffer from chronic bronchitis. Furthermore, it is expected that deaths from lung cancer will surpass breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths among American women during this decade.
Leading the fight in the voluntary sector to prevent illness, disability, and death from lung disease is the American Lung Association -- the Christmas Seal people -- a nonprofit public health organization supported by individual contributions to Christmas Seals and other donations.
The Nation's first national voluntary public health organization, the Association was founded in 1904 to combat tuberculosis. Since 1907, Christmas Seals have been used to raise funds through private contributions to help educate Americans about this disease. In its early years, the National Tuberculosis Association pioneered school programs aimed at motivating young people to establish healthful living patterns. That tradition remains strong, as the American Lung Association continues to give high priority to its health education activities in the schools.
In addition, the American Lung Association, through its community lung Associations, helps educate the public, patients and their families about lung diseases; sponsors community action programs for good lung health; underwrites medical research; supports education for physicians and other health care workers; and wages vigorous campaigns against cigarette smoking and air pollution. The primary source of funding for more than 70 years has been Christmas Seals. This year, Christmas Seals will be in 60 million homes.
In recognition of the American Lung Association's continuing efforts to eliminate all chronic diseases of the lung, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 188, has designated the month of November 1983 as ``National Christmas Seal Month'' and has requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of that month.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 1983 as National Christmas Seal Month, and I call upon all Government agencies and the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate activities and by supporting the Christmas Seal program.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 2:55 p.m., November 8, 1983]