22.06.2022 | Tracker

Respiratory tracker: HCPs discuss Clean Air Day and react to Chris Whitty’s concern for young smokers

By Mark Sullivan

Each month, CREATION.co’s respiratory tracking update brings you the latest insights into the online UK healthcare professional (HCP) conversation regarding respiratory disease.

Following the increased number of posts in last month’s Respiratory Tracker, which included World Asthma Day, the respiratory disease online conversation from UK HCPs decreased around 17% to 2,519 mentions between May and June. As noted in last month’s tracker the mentions of COVID-19 by UK HCPs has been decreasing in recent times and this month was no different as the conversation decreased to only 400 mentions. The most active HCP discussing respiratory diseases in the UK this month was Respiratory nurse consultant Karen Marshall, who posted frequently this month about the launch of Respiratory Health 2022

This month, UK HCPs were most active on 16 June and posted 142 times about respiratory diseases. A contributing factor of this was ‘Clean Air Day 2022’, which is the UK’s largest air pollution campaign, bringing together communities, businesses, schools and the health sector. UK HCPs highlighted the need to support the respiratory community to improve air quality in the UK. HCPs also discussed the effects of air pollution across different social media platforms, such as consultant respiratory paediatrician Ian Sinha and Royal College of Physicians education fellow Laura Gordge discussing the impacts on their podcast. This focus tied in simultaneously with the announcement of #AskAboutAsthma for 2022, with this year’s event taking place in September and focusing on the impact of air pollution.

The most shared post by UK HCPs in the context of respiratory disease this month was from England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty who discussed the staggering physiological damages caused by smoking cigarettes. 30 HCPs shared his post, with some agreeing that meeting the smokefree 2030 target will have huge health benefits. However, other HCPs were far more negative following the post from Whitty as they referenced distrust following the government’s handling of COVID-19.

Witty’s post came in response to a post from Javed Khan where he cited his ​​independent review into the government’s ambition to make England “smokefree” by 2030. The review makes 15 recommendations for government to achieve a smokefree society and includes 4 critical recommendations:

  1. Urgently invest £125 million per year in a comprehensive smokefree 2030 programme. Options to fund this include a ‘polluter pays’ levy.
  2. Increase the age of sale by one year, every year.
  3. Offer vaping as a substitute for smoking, alongside accurate information on the benefits of switching, including to healthcare professionals.
  4. For the NHS to prioritise further action to stop people from smoking, by providing support and treatment across all of its services, including primary care.

Whilst mentions of COVID-19 fell to 400 this month, 17 UK HCPs shared physician come epidemiologist come clinical trialist Martin Landray’s post on 16 June celebrating the 2 year anniversary of the RECOVERY trial finding that “dexamethasone saves lives for patients with severe COVID-19”. 

Each month, we track the HCP conversation relating to respiratory disease.

You can keep up to date with this and other pharmaceutical tracking updates, including COVID-19 developments, within the Tracking section of CREATION Knowledge, or sign up to receive our monthly eJournal with all of our latest HCP insights. 

If you would like to dig deeper into what we have seen this month then please do get in touch.


  • This article analysed the Twitter conversations of HCPs in the UK discussing respiratory disease and related terms between 21 May and 20 June 2022 using CREATION Pinpoint®.
  • Between 21 May and 20 June 2022, there were 2,519 UK HCP mentions of respiratory disease and related terms, from 1,256 unique UK HCP authors.

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Meet the Author

Mark Sullivan

Mark uses his passion for data analysis to find actionable insights to inform pharma teams' strategic decisions.

Mark is an avid sports fan whether watching or playing. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and watching films.

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