This website uses cookies. By continuing you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

Our History

For 115 years, the American Lung Association has been America's leading force for lung health—successfully tapping into America's spirit of community that inspires us to work together for better health and longer life for all.

In 1904 it was a revolutionary concept—a nationwide organization to fight a single disease. Tuberculosis (TB) was the most feared disease in the world, striking down the young and old, the rich and poor.

Determined to battle what was called the "White Plague" (because TB caused a pale pallor in people who suffered from it), a group of doctors and concerned citizens formed the first voluntary health organization in America, the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis, later to become the American Lung Association.

Over a difficult 50-year fight, the Association played a critical role in developing and funding increasingly effective weapons to prevent, detect and treat the disease. Along the way, we launched the Christmas Seals® campaign, the first "direct mail" fundraiser that has become an enduring symbol of the power of volunteers to battle disease.

Over the years, we continued the fight, targeting other threats to lung health, and becoming the American Lung Association, guardians of everyone's right to breathe. Still revolutionary, the Lung Association was among the first to tackle smoking as the nation's greatest preventable health risk, and to make the connection between air pollution and lung health. Landmark victories include:

At the American Lung Association, we never take breathing for granted, because millions of Americans fight for each and every breath. By joining us to build a healthier future, you are helping to save lives today and keep America healthy tomorrow.

Red button with telephone
Ask An Expert

Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Get help
Red button of two hand prints
We need your generous support

Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.

Button of turquoise LUNG FORCE swirl

LUNG FORCE unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together in the fight against lung cancer.

Get involved
Join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
Donate Now.


Breathe Easy

Give today and your tax-deductible gift will go TWICE as far for everyone who struggles to breathe.