Message from the Co-Presidents

In France, 10 million individuals suffer from chronic respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, cystic fibrosis, sleep apnea, lung cancer, and rare respiratory diseases (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, pulmonary hypertension, non-tuberculous mycobacteria…). These often invisible illnesses are unfortunately under- or late-diagnosed and frequently result in disability.

With a societal cost estimated at €62.5 billion, respiratory diseases pose a major challenge to our healthcare system. Climate change impacts are escalating, alongside growing distrust towards healthcare professionals and science, contributing to a rising number of individuals with chronic respiratory conditions.

Our mobilization began in 2021, and 2024 marks a pivotal moment for the recognition of respiratory health as a public health priority. Thus, the 26 patient, healthcare, environmental, and user organizations have decided to join forces and form a non-profit association: the Collectif Droit à Respirer Association.

The Association will continue its commitment to improving respiratory health in France, notably through the Respiratory Health Observatory. We have set three key priorities for 2024:


Strengthening prevention and early detection of respiratory diseases by including spirometry screening in adolescent preventive health assessments, crucial for developing respiratory capacity.


Combating risk factors, particularly tobacco use, and strengthening measures to address indoor pollutants, with support from indoor environment advisors.


Promoting adapted physical activity, especially as France hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer, by establishing sustainable national funding for this proven therapy, particularly beneficial for chronic respiratory patients, based on criteria defined by the High Authority for Health.

On these and other themes, the association will continue and expand its efforts in the coming years to support a national respiratory health plan and address this collective urgency to defend the right to breathe!

Pierre Foucaud

Pr Chantal Raherison-Semjen