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The UK's primary care sustainability network

Guide to reducing the carbon footprint of inhaler prescribing

Inhalers contribute 3-4% of the NHS’ carbon footprint so they need to be a key area of focus in primary care.

Greener Practice has produced a guide on How to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Inhaler Prescribing. This has been reviewed and approved by the NHS England and NHS Inhaler Working Group and Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation. It includes the principles on how to approach this work, a frequently asked questions section and an very handy table on inhaler devices and their carbon footprint category.

To learn more about how to safely and effectively reduce the carbon footprint of inhaler prescribing in collaboration with patients, whilst optimising patient care please look through our high quality low carbon asthma toolkit. The toolkit has step-by-step guides and plenty of resources to help practice implement quality improvement and achieve the respiratory and sustainability targets in the Network Contract Investment and Impact Fund targets.

Further resources and information

The Inside Health programme on BBC Radio 4 discussed asthma and inhalers in January 2022.

For a comprehensive summary of different inhaler names and types, and information on checking inhaler technique, see this excellent poster produced by Dr Sarah Walpole, which could be used in consultation rooms.

Please look at this excellent patient-facing website greeninhaler.org with lots of useful information on inhaler switching and specific information on alternatives.