YOUNG asthma sufferers in East Yorkshire are being targeted by a new health campaign which aims to keep them fit and healthy.

The campaign, run by the Hull and East Riding Community Health NHS Trust, targets 12 to 16-year-olds and highlights the importance of looking after yourself if you have asthma.

For the first time, teenagers can now refer themselves to a specialist paediatric asthma nurse who can give advice and support by phone, text or in person at a place to suit them, for example, at home, school or youth club.

Posters are being sent to schools and youth clubs and the effects of drugs and alcohol on asthma symptoms are also highlighted by the campaign.

One-in-seven teenagers has asthma - a chronic inflammatory condition of the airways - and the condition is becoming more common and severe in Britain. The campaign has been launched because of the dangers of ignoring asthma and the lack of teenagers accessing advice and support from health services.

Karen O'Sullivan, specialist asthma nurse, said: "We want to encourage teenagers with asthma to get more involved in their treatment and care. "Many teenagers adapt their lifestyle to fit in with their asthma symptoms rather than finding ways of controlling their symptoms more effectively in order to lead the life they want."

Dr Mary Barraclough and Karen are leading the work with the Hull and East Yorkshire Asthma Task Force, a multi-agency group working to provide support, information and education for children and young people with asthma and their carers.

For information, support or advice phone or text Karen on 07940 539944 or phone the asthma team on (01482) 335240.

Updated: 09:39 Wednesday, May 21, 2003