Asthma Inhaler Information

Calling all asthma and COPD patients in Penderi

Are you an asthma or COPD patient within the Penderi cluster? You could help to reduce the carbon footprint within our local area just by a few simple steps!

Climate change has recently been at the forefront of the news for some time – with many attempts currently trying to tackle this problem and limit the impact that we are having on our environment.

Climate change can also have a massive impact on our health and can be especially detrimental to those with respiratory illnesses.


Some inhalers (known as MDI’s) contain a propellant called hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) 134a, which is a potent greenhouse gas. They deliver a specific amount of medication in aerosol form, rather than as a pill or capsule. Even when these inhalers are sent to landfill the HFAs can slowly leak out of the inhalers and contribute to global warming.

It is estimated that MDIs currently contribute 3.5 per cent of the carbon footprint of the NHS, with Swansea Bay having the third highest amount of asthma patients with that prescription in Wales.

In contrast, alternative inhalers such as DPIs and soft mist inhalers (SMIs), do not contain HFA propellants and have a significantly lower carbon footprint than MDIs. They are also easier to use and have counters on them to indicate how much medication is left in the device.

So how does this affect Asthmatic / COPD patients?

Incorrect inhaler technique can mean two things: you are not receiving the correct amount of drug AND it is not reaching the right part of your lungs to be effective. This will mean that your condition is poorly controlled.

By making a simple switch of inhalers, you will not only be managing your condition better, but also helping to reduce Swansea Bay’s carbon footprint!

How can I get involved?

  • Liaise with your surgeries to arrange an asthma / COPD review to discuss inhaler options
  • Engage with Doctors / nurses regarding your inhaler use / changes
  • Do not over order inhalers – if this is happening then it may mean your condition is not adequately controlled!
  • Return unwanted inhalers to your community pharmacy to dispose of correctly

Please engage with us to help us to achieve more sustainable prescribing whilst also improving our patients care – not only for now, but for the future!