Wildfire Smoke Communication Workshops

In the fall of 2020, Legacy for Airway Health conducted a provincial survey to evaluate how people in BC receive, understand, and implement wildfire smoke communications. The study was the first of its kind to support the improvement of wildfire smoke communications to better protect people living in BC.

To share the results of this survey with relevant stakeholders and support the implementation of the findings, Legacy for Airway Health hosted a two-part virtual workshop on Feb 8th and 14th, 2022.

There were sixty-nine stakeholders from thirty different organizations across Canada who attended the workshops; through breakout sessions, stakeholders identified priorities, challenges, and opportunities to optimize wildfire smoke communications. Grounding this work in community perspective, UBC Studios produced a video with five community members’ perspectives, including three of our Community Stakeholder Committee members.  You can view the video here.

A summary of the workshops can be found here and ici (en français).

This project was contracted by Health Canada.



Help Shape Respiratory Research

Help shape respiratory research synergies in BC on January 18 or 27, 2022


Legacy for Airway Health (LAH) is launching a research network to enhance interdisciplinary research and accelerate translation into practice and policy. Researchers in BC are invited to join us to help shape the BC Respiratory Health Network. We will host two sessions of Finding Research Synergies in Respiratory Disease Prevention and Care. Please consider joining us on Tuesday, January 18 or Thursday, January 27 from 4-6pm.


Participants will learn how their peers across the province are contributing to respiratory disease prevention or care and make new connections to support innovative research and collaborations. They will contribute to an inventory of knowledge gaps to be shared with decision leaders at a healthcare summit in spring 2022. A clear picture of these gaps will help ensure that BC researchers can respond to needs that are most relevant for communities, health care, and policy.


At this session, we will consult researchers to guide how best to support the translation of respiratory-relevant research into practice and policy through the creation of a province-wide collaborative network. This network will support learning and career development, engagement and collaboration, guide priorities, catalyze implementation. Plus, it will create an ecosystem for discovery and innovation.


Researchers can register for one or both sessions at https://tinyurl.com/findingresearchsynergies.

Youth and Vaping Virtual Forum

LAH hosted a virtual forum, Youth and Vaping: Understanding and coordinating pathways for stopping or not starting, on February 26. This project, funded by the Vancouver Physician Staff Association, was led by Dr. Milan Khara, Physician Lead at the VGH Smoking Cessation Clinic, and LAH Director Dr. Chris Carlsten. In response to the rapidly growing popularity of vaping among youth and a lack of awareness among youth about vaping resources, we wanted to understand what services were available for youth in the Vancouver area and find ways to improve the network of services through increased collaboration and communication.

The virtual forum brought together nearly 50 stakeholders, including youth, educators, health care providers, policy makers, community organizations, and researchers to share knowledge, highlight challenges to youth awareness about vaping and available resources, and identify ways to work better together to support youth around vaping issues. Participants at the forum were passionate and motivated to improve youth awareness about vaping. Leading up to the forum, we conducted an environmental scan of available services and resources and worked with a group of youth partners to create graphic tools to facilitate pathways to access vaping supports. Our learnings will serve to inform and motivate future research aiming to understand and address the challenges of youth vaping.

The Youth Vaping Support Pathways infographics are available to view and download.

The forum summary report can be downloaded here.

For questions about this project, please contact Karen.rideout@VCH.ca.

Lung Health Benefits of E-cigarette Cessation: Recruiting now

Dr. Chris Carlsten and Dr. Laura Struik recently received a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Catalyst Grant on the health effects of vaping, titled the Lung Health Benefits of E-cigarette Cessation with support from community partners, Dr. Milan Khara, BC Ministry of Health and BC Lung Association.  This study is being led by PhD Student Tina Afshar and it has received UBC Clinical Research Ethics Board approval (H20-02539).  The research team is recruiting research participants following the requirements below.


Project Overview:

Young adults are vaping, not using e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool, and becoming addicted to nicotine. Currently there is good evidence that vaping alone causes lung and immune function damage. We also know that nicotine is highly addictive, and it is difficult for people to quit. Motivation for quitting is difficult to improve, but some smoking literature shows that giving people feedback on their personalized health can improve motivation. In this study we will ask participants to stop vaping for 72 hours and we will measure their lung and immune function and motivation for quitting vaping before and after. At the end of the 72 hrs we will show participants their personal results of lung function and see if that affects their motivation for quitting vaping. We hope that this study will inform the design of a randomized controlled trial for vaping cessation because evidence is needed for clinical guidelines to help with this challenge.


We are looking to recruit 30 participants for this research study. If you are interested please review the requirements and contact the study personnel by phone or email.  The research team follows UBC COVID-19 related protocols, including wearing full PPE and sanitizing measures to minimize risk to participants and research staff.


Participant Requirements:

  • Individuals between the ages of 19-35 years
  • Use e-cigarette (aka vape) regularly (approximately 20 of the past 30 days)
  • Not using vaping to help you quit smoking
  • Do not regularly smoke regular cigarette, or smoke/vape marijuana
  • Have not suffered from a respiratory illness in the past 4 weeks


Procedures include:

  • 72 hours of e-cigarette cessation with nicotine gum to manage cravings
  • Questionnaires related to nicotine dependence, vaping behaviour, motivation to quit, and coughing
  • Cough monitoring
  • Lung function measures
  • Collection of nasal samples
  • Interview


Total completion time will take approximately 3 months with 4 consecutive in-person visits to our facilities at the Vancouver General Hospital and 3 follow up phone or video calls. Participants will be compensated for their time.


If you are interested, please call (604) 875-5132 or email vape.study@ubc.ca


LAH was part of a successful MSFHR Convening & Collaborating (C2) Program grant application for the AIRWISE study. LAH scientists Dr. Sonya Cressman at Simon Fraser University and Dr. Renelle Myers, both from the BC Cancer Research Institute, will work with a team of researchers, knowledge users, and community partners from across BC – including many from the LAH Scientific Team. They will use a lung cancer risk prediction model, health risk decision tools, and other information such as radon level maps to share targeted information about lung health risks. Anyone can then use the information to prevent and manage their risks through lung cancer screening, pulmonary rehab services, smoking cessation programs, and radon test kits. Congratulations Sonya!


Quality Forum 2021

Members of the Community Stakeholder Committee (CSC) and LAH staff created a video presentation for the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council (BCPSQC) annual Quality Forum (February 25-26). Quality Forum 2021 was entirely virtual this year, but BCPSQC continued to focus on improving quality across the continuum of care. CSC co-chair Winnie Lo initiated the idea to present and proposed a joint presentation about the experience of developing and maintaining the CSC from the early days of LAH, continuing to grow and thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic, and learning from an evaluation of members’ experiences.

We adapted a panel discussion format to create a 10-minute video, available on demand to everyone registered for the conference. Winnie Lo and Dennis Josey from the CSC, Director of Operations Phalgun Joshi, and KT Specialist Karen Rideout discussed the origins and goals for the CSC as central to patient engagement at LAH, motivations and goals for CSC members, and adaptions and mutual support during the pandemic restrictions.

Our presentation video, Navigating relationship building and team work during the COVID-19 pandemic: an experience with the Legacy for Airway Health (LAH) Initiative from the patient partners’ perspective, is available on request.


For questions about this project, please contact Karen.rideout@VCH.ca.

Clinical Pathways to Smoking Cessation

We recently completed an exciting project in partnership with QuitNow, the Ministry of Health, the Specialist Services Committee and Shared Care Committee (Doctors of BC) on identifying barriers and opportunities for enhancing the pathways between clinical care and smoking cessation services in BC. The project was based on extensive engagement of stakeholders including clients who are past or current smokers.

We held a three-part symposia series on Feb 2nd, Feb 11th, and March 4th, 2021 that brought together 67 stakeholders from diverse backgrounds including clients with lived experience in smoking cessation, health care providers, researchers, and representatives from health authorities, the BC Ministry of Health and Doctors of BC. The participants identified key challenges and priorities for enhancing clinical pathways to smoking cessation in BC, such as increasing awareness of tobacco use disorder among health care providers, and strategies to enhance screening and referrals by health care providers to smoking cessation services. In addition, the participants provided recommendations for enhancing the reach and impact of the QuitNow program. The ideas and recommendations will form the basis for future conversations and stakeholder engagement towards a BC-wide interdisciplinary approach to promoting and enhancing smoking cessation in BC.

This symposia series showcased the enthusiasm, expertise, and support for smoking cessation across BC. While many challenges remain in providing quality and equitable smoking cessation services, we are very proud to have led this first-of-its kind stakeholder engagement in BC bringing together clients, smoking cessation experts, and service providers in the province. We look forward to continuing these collaborations and conversation to improve smoking cessation services for British Columbians, and to engaging the research community further to developing and applying innovative methods to surmount these barriers and rigorously evaluate our progress together.

Smoking cessation plays an important role in the care and prevention of COPD. If you are looking for smoking cessation support, please contact one of these services:


For questions about this project contact Erin.Shellington@ubc.ca.