. The goal of the COPD community is to get every state to officially recognize COPD Awareness Month through a Governor's Proclamation What are the benefits? . Draws attention to COPD from people in the state government and in the general public . Shows your governor recognizes the issues associated with COPD and the need to pitch in to raise awareness in your state . Raising awareness for COPD is crucial, as it remains largely unnoticed despite its position as the fourth leading cause of death and second leading cause of disability in the US How to submit a proclamation request . Go to your state Governor's website there should be a section labeled "Proclamation request" . Many states require submission of proclamation requests six or more weeks in advance of the date requested, so don't delay! . If and when your governor issues a proclamation, make sure to express your thanks and appreciation for the gesture through a phone call or email Here's the sample proclamation: SAMPLE Governor's Proclamation WHEREAS, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), also known as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is the third leading cause of death in the United States and is the only one of the top five causes of death whose prevalence and death rate is rising; and WHEREAS, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a chronic and progressive disease that affects over 24 million individuals in the US, half of whom have not been properly diagnosed; and WHEREAS, A diagnostic test for COPD, known as spirometry is available for office use, allowing early diagnosis of COPD yet many patients suffering with COPD are not diagnosed until they have reached an advanced stage of COPD; and WHEREAS, The major risk factor for COPD is smoking. Other risk factors include environmental exposure to air pollution, industrial irritants and burned biomass fuels; and WHEREAS, COPD can also result from genetic conditions, such as Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency; and WHEREAS, COPD is considered to be the second leading cause of disability in the nation; and WHEREAS, the annual cost to the nation in 2011 is estimated to be $49.9 billion; and WHEREAS, increased public awareness, early detection and treatment are crucial in the prevention or slowing the progression of lung disease and can lead to reduced costs and better quality of life for our residents; and NOW, THEREFORE, I, _____., Governor of the Great State of ____, do hereby proclaim November 2011, as COPD AWARENESS MONTH throughout the state and encourage all residents of _______ to learn more about the prevention and treatment of COPD.