SGMC to offer free lung tests - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

SGMC to perform free lung tests

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VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

You can get a free lung test tomorrow as part of the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout. South Georgia Medical Center will conduct the tests. Officials there urge you to have your lungs looked at, even if you are not a tobacco user.

Each year smoking kills more than 440,000 Americans and nearly 50,000 non-smokers die from second-hand smoke. It's a deadly habit and South Georgia Medical Center is trying to help people quit.

"Lung disease is very deceptive, some times as we just think as we age that we just get older and feel more tired, most of the time we find out that it creeps up on you so much that by the time you realize you have a lung problem you're already at moderate to moderate/severe disease process," said Gary Voght, a pulmonary function technologist.

Tomorrow medical officials will perform free lung tests and blood pressure screenings at the Valdosta Mall. Voght says because we live in the tobacco belt some people don't think twice about smoking or chewing tobacco.

"It's more acceptable down here in the south because they grow it, they manufacture it, its just more prevalent. Its more available and its even cheaper; if you go to the cities it'll cost you almost twice as much to buy a pack of cigarettes as it does here," said Voght.

Medical technicians don't even need fancy equipment to see if you're harming your lungs, they can use a small breathing device to test your lung function and the results can be alarming.

Marie Sims, SGMC's Community Health Promotions Coordinator said,"I think the biggest thing we notice is surprise, they are truly not aware, they've become so accustomed to their habit because it is an addiction, that they don't realize what they're doing to their bodies."

The hospital hopes tomorrow's free screenings will help a lot of tobacco users kick the habit.

The lung tests will be tomorrow at the Valdosta Mall from 3 to 6 p.m.

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