Make 2016 Your Year to Quit

Notepad with quit smoking written on itQuit smoking to start your year off right.

Every January 1, people all over the world make New Year’s resolutions. If you’re one of the nearly 7 in 10 U.S. smokers who want to quit, why not make a resolution to get started? Smoking is still the number one cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. Quitting now can cut your risk for diseases caused by smoking and leave you feeling stronger and healthier.

Tiffany, a former cigarette smoker, was 16 when her mother—also a smoker—died of lung cancer. Despite her loss, Tiffany started smoking. She finally decided to quit when her daughter Jaelin turned 16 because she could not bear the thought of missing out on any part of Jaelin’s life, like her own mother did. Her effort to quit began with setting a specific date to quit smoking and reaching out to family and friends for support. In the video “Tiffany’s Decision” from CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers (Tips) campaign, she talks about the “aha” moment that sent her on a different, healthier path for her own life.

Most smokers who want to quit try several times before they succeed, but you can take steps that can improve your chances of quitting for good.

Develop a Quit Plan

Planning ahead is a major part of successfully quitting smoking. Smokefree.gov offers details on how to create an effective quit plan, including:

  • Picking a quit date. Starting the new year smokefree is a great idea.
  • Letting loved ones know you’re quitting so they can support you.
  • Listing your reasons to quit smoking. See the “Smoking and Diabetes” ad featuring Bill—another former smoker who participated in the Tips campaign—for advice on finding your reasons to quit.
  • Figuring out what triggers make you want to smoke so you can avoid them, especially during the early days.
  • Having places you can turn to for help right away, including the free resources listed below.

Use Free, Effective Resources

There are many free resources for people trying to quit smoking:

  • 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) (for Spanish speakers). This free service offers a lot of resources, including coaching, help with making a quit plan, educational materials, and referrals to other resources where you live.
  • Smokefree TXT. This free 24/7 texting program sends encouragement, advice, and tips to help smokers quit smoking for good. To get started, just text QUIT to 47848, answer a few questions, and you’ll start receiving messages.
  • Online help. This Tips From Former Smokers web page provides helpful online quit resources.
  • Smokefree App. The QuitGuide is a free app that tracks cravings, moods, slips, and smokefree progress to help you understand your smoking patterns and build the skills needed to become and stay smokefree.

Talk to your health care provider about medicines that may help you quit smoking.

Doctor consulting with patientTalk to your health care provider about medicines that may help you quit smoking.

Find a Medication That’s Right for You

Because cigarettes contain nicotine, a powerfully addictive drug, when you first quit, your body may feel uncomfortable until it adjusts. This is known as withdrawal, and there are medications that can help lessen this feeling and the urge to smoke. Studies show that smokers who use medicine to help control cravings, along with coaching from a quitline, in a group, or from a counselor, are much more likely to succeed than those who go it alone. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider before using any medications if you:

  • Are pregnant or nursing
  • Have a serious medical condition
  • Are currently using other medications
  • Are younger than 18

Many options are available if you are considering using medications to help you quit smoking. The most common smoking medications are nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), which give your body a little of the nicotine that it craves without the harmful chemicals found in burning cigarettes. Examples of Food and Drug Administration-approved NRTs that you can buy over the counter include:

  • Nicotine patches
  • Nicotine gum
  • Nicotine lozenges

NRTs that need a prescription include nicotine inhalers and nasal spray. Your doctor can also prescribe medication that does not contain nicotine (such as bupropion or varenicline) to help you quit smoking completely.

As the start of a new year approaches, isn’t now the perfect time to quit smoking? You can start 2016 as a healthier you by making a quit plan, using free resources, and finding a smoking medication that’s right for you. Even if you don’t smoke yourself, you can use this article to help a friend or family member become smokefree in 2016!

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Prevent Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning

Graphic showing carbon monoxide can't be seen, smelled or heardDaylight Savings Time begins Sunday, March 13, 2016. As you prepare to set your clocks forward one hour, remember to check the batteries in your carbon monoxide (CO) detector. If you don’t have a battery-powered or battery back-up CO alarm, now is a great time to buy one. At least 430 people die each year in the United States from unintentional, non-fire related CO poisoning.

CO is found in fumes produced by furnaces, vehicles, portable generators, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges, or burning charcoal or wood. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned and can die from breathing CO.

When power outages occur during emergencies such as hurricanes or winter storms, the use of alternative sources of power for heating, cooling, or cooking can cause CO to build up in a home, garage, or camper and to poison the people and animals inside.

Carbon monoxide detector and alarmInstall a battery-operated CO detector in your home and check the batteries when you set your clocks forward one hour.

You Can Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Do

    • Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
    • Install a battery-operated CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. If the detector sounds, leave your home immediately and call 911.
    • Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous.

Don’t

    • Run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
    • Burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented.
    • Heat your house with a gas oven.
    • Use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or outside less than 20 feet from a window, door, or vent.

CO poisoning is entirely preventable. You can protect yourself and your family by acting wisely in case of a power outage and learning the symptoms of CO poisoning.

Click here for important CO poisoning prevention tips in 16 additional languages.

For more information, please visit www.cdc.gov/co .

Milk, Cheese & Dairy

Myths About Raw Milk

Milk, cheels, and dairy products (included ice cream)Pasteurization is a process that kills harmful bacteria by heating milk to a specific temperature for a set period of time. Some people continue to believe that pasteurization harms milk and that raw milk is a safe healthier alternative.

Raw milk can harbor dangerous microorganisms, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, that can pose serious health risks to you and your family.

Here are some common myths and proven facts about milk and pasteurization:

  • Raw milk DOES NOT kill dangerous pathogens by itself.
  • Pasteurizing milk DOES NOT cause lactose intolerance and allergic reactions. Both raw milk and pasteurized milk can cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to milk proteins.
  • Pasteurization DOES NOT reduce milk’s nutritional value.
  • Pasteurization DOES NOT mean that it is safe to leave milk out of the refrigerator for extended time,particularly after it has been opened.
  • Pasteurization DOES kill harmful bacteria.
  • Pasteurization DOES save lives.

Food Safety and Raw Milk (CDC)
Comprehensive information on the dangers of raw milk, including:

The Dangers of Raw Milk (FDA)
Raw milk can harbor dangerous microorganisms that can pose serious health risks.

Questions & Answers: Raw Milk (FDA)
Raw milk is not safe to drink. Find out more about the risks.

Raw Milk May Pose Health Risk (FDA)
Consumer update on raw milk

Raw Milk Misconceptions and the Danger of Raw Milk Consumption (FDA)
Point and counterpoint on popular myths about raw milk

The Dangers of Raw Milk (FDA)
Unpasteurized milk can pose a serious health risk

Food Safety and Raw Milk (FDA)
Understanding health risks associated with raw milk.

Raw Milk Questions and Answers
Frequently asked questions and answers about the risks of drinking raw milk.

Cheese

Preventing Listeriosis In Pregnant Hispanic Women in the U.S. (FDA)
When pregnant women eat Mexican-style soft cheeses, they are putting their unborn babies at risk!

Ice Cream

Enjoying Homemade Ice Cream without the Risk of Salmonella Infection (FDA)
To avoid the risk of salmonella infection, use a pasteurized egg product instead of raw eggs.