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A Helpful Guide to Quit Smoking or Drinking

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:

  • Strokes
  • Cataracts and blindness
  • Periodontitis (gum disease)
  • Chronic heart disease (high blood pressure)
  • Pneumonia
  • 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
  • Cirrhosis
  • 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.

The Condition of Your Home Could Impact Your Health

This winter, much of the country has been in a deep freeze. With all the snow and ice, many people have spent a great deal of their time in the house. Besides just causing cabin fever, the condition of your home itself has a great effect on the health of you and the members of your family.

Here are some everyday things that could be causing health problems in your home.

  • Smoking inside can cause asthma and respiratory issues, and can even lead to cancer.

  • Radon, a gas which is odorless and tasteless causes lung cancer.

  • The presence of too much moisture or mold (which can come from over-use of humidifiers in the winter) may lead to asthma and respiratory problems.

To prevent these sort of issues, don’t allow smoking in your home, and be sure to install smoke detectors and regularly change their batteries, just in case a fire should occur. Test for radon, and install fan systems that remove radon vapors. Fix water leaks to prevent excess moisture from being present in your home, and keep it well ventilated.

Simple steps like these help ensure your family’s health, especially when mother nature doesn’t allow you to go outside.

Image description: According to the CDC, one out of three cancer deaths in the United States could be prevented if we eliminated smoking.
Smoking causes cancer in all parts of the body, not just the lungs. Smoking has been tied to cancer in the stomach, bladder, kidneys, liver and more. 
Get tips and support to quit smoking from Smokefree.gov.

Image description: According to the CDC, one out of three cancer deaths in the United States could be prevented if we eliminated smoking.

Smoking causes cancer in all parts of the body, not just the lungs. Smoking has been tied to cancer in the stomach, bladder, kidneys, liver and more. 

Get tips and support to quit smoking from Smokefree.gov.

Today is the Great American Smokeout. These five steps will help you put together a plan to quit smoking for good.

Smoking affects nearly every organ in your body from your brain all the way to down to the smallest parts of your DNA. Learn how each of your body’s systems are impacted by smoking.