In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into law. It created the National Wilderness Preservation System and protected roughly 110 million acres of wilderness from development, roads, logging, and other disturbances. It is one of the greatest land preservation efforts in United States history. Of these protected lands, 44 million acres are National Parks.
The lands preserved are some of the most scenic and astoundingly beautiful areas in the country. In celebration of the Wilderness Act, there are events and activities scheduled throughout the country. For more information, check out Celebrating 50 Years of American Wilderness.
Smoking cigarettes or drinking too much alcohol can cause addiction and other serious health issues.
The risk of diseases associated with tobacco and alcohol increase for those who drink and smoke.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 443,000 people in the United States die of illnesses caused by tobacco each year. Meanwhile, about 88,000 die from alcohol-related illnesses.
Diseases caused by smoking tobacco
Smoking cigarettes can cause various types of cancer and chronic illnesses, including:
- Cataracts and blindness
- Periodontitis (gum disease)
- Chronic heart disease (high blood pressure)
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (difficulty breathing)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Cancer of the larynx, stomach, trachea, lung, esophagus and others
Note: Even those who do not smoke, but are exposed to cigarettes and tobacco, can develop health problems caused by second-hand smoke.
Free resources and help centers to quit smoking
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a good resource for smokers, offering plans to quit smoking, self-help materials, and a helpline at 1-800-784-8669, or 1-800-332-8615 (TTY for the hearing impaired).
- Smokefree.gov offers tips on how to quit smoking as well as pamphlets, information about medications and other advice. You can also subscribe to SmokefreeTXT to receive helpful messages on your phone.
- The CDC also has information about community tobacco control programs, campaigns and events in your state.
Diseases caused by alcohol consumption
Drinking too much alcohol can cause:
- Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
- Cardiomyopathy (stretching of the heart muscle)
- High blood pressure
- Alcohol-induced hepatitis
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreatic blood vessels)
- A weak immune system
- Cancer of the mouth, esophagus, throat, liver and breast
Free resources and help centers to stop drinking
SMART Recovery helps young people and adults with alcohol or other addiction through group therapy sessions. You can attend in person or seek an online support group.
Read this note in Spanish.
By Ashley Gordon, CFPB
Watch Leah’s story.
Just a year away from graduating with $23,000 in student loans, Leah didn’t know how she was going to make her payments. They were a constant source of stress in her life; she would lie awake at night thinking about how she was going to pay off her student debt. She was worried about her future.
We understand that fear – it’s why we built our Paying for College tool. It helps students and recent graduates inform themselves about the true cost of college and the repayment options available after graduation.
Leah learned about the Income Based Repayment option, which helped to significantly lower her monthly payments. “It’s a lot less stressful now,” she says; “It feels amazing… My husband and I don’t feel like we’re living paycheck to paycheck. I wasn’t informed when I was taking out my student loans of the reality of after college. And now students have the CFPB website to know in advance and be informed of what to expect when they graduate. I took charge of my student loan debt. Now other students can take charge of theirs thanks to the CFPB.”
Do you have a story like Leah’s? Do you want to find resources for students and graduates? Or are you interested in what other people are saying about their experiences with financial products and services? Check out Everyone has a story.