Looking for a Light? The CDC Is Lighting Up a New Smoking Cessation Initiative

Looking for a Light? The CDC Is Lighting Up a New Smoking Cessation Initiative

Ever wish you could ditch cigarettes for good? 2 out of 3 people who smoke WANT to quit! But the withdrawal makes it challenging to break this habit.

Well, here’s the latest! In February, 2024, the CDC (that's the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) launched a brand new plan to help smokers quit for good! https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/index.htm

This program isn't just about saying "don't smoke." It's about giving YOU free tools and support to make quitting way easier.

Cigarettes are a drag – literally and figuratively. Ditching cigarettes means you'll be healthier, have more energy, save money, and set an awesome example for others!  But quitting can feel like climbing Mount Everest, right? Worry not, because the CDC just dropped a game-changer to help you kick the habit for good!  They have enlisted the help of a team of former smokers to provide tips on how they quit smoking 


Here's how it works:

  • Free help: Feeling lost? Don't worry! The CDC will connect you with free counseling and even medicine that can seriously boost your chances of quitting. Just ask your doctor or visit https://smokefree.gov/ to find out how.
  • Texting coach: Need a pep talk in your pocket? The CDC has a texting program that sends you tips, encouragement, and reminders to stay on track. Just text "START" to 47848 and your personal coach will be there!
  • Community power: Want to quit with your friends and neighbors? The CDC is helping groups in your area host events, support groups, and workshops to quit together. Look around for them in your community!
  • No one left behind: The CDC knows that not everyone has the same chance to quit. That's why they're making sure everyone has access to help, no matter who they are or where they live.

Why Quit Now?

  • The benefits of quitting smoking are vast and immediate. You'll experience improved health, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and a boost in energy and finances. Plus, you'll be setting a positive example for loved ones, especially children.

Remember, you're not alone!

  • The CDC is cheering you on every step of the way. Take advantage of their free help and join the movement for a smoke-free future!


Tips to help you quit like a champ.

Follow these 5 steps to get started:

1) Have a Clear Purpose

First thing is to have a clear purpose for quitting. Ask yourself, ‘WHY DO I WANT TO QUIT?’. This will keep you motivated during difficult times. Some people want to enjoy life better, or stay healthy, some do it for their kids or loved ones. What's your reason?

2) Set a Quit Date:

Set a quit date! This gives you a clear target to look for and a better chance of quitting.

3) Replace with Healthy Habits:

Once you stop smoking, you will need something to replace that habit. This is especially important when having a strong urge to smoke. The strong urge will go away in few minutes, so keep yourself busy during this time. Think of times when you tend to smoke. Like after meals, when around friends, driving or when you are stressed. List down what are your triggers and replace them with something different. You could draw, play a game on your phone, chew a gum, eat a healthy snack, or call a friend.

4) Use Medicines to help quit:

Use medicines to help quit. They help manage your mood, craving and withdrawal. You are 3 times more likely to quit by using medicines such as Chantix. You can also use Nicotine replacement. Nicotine patches give a small amount of nicotine to help with withdrawal, and Nicotine gums, sprays or lozenges are used at times urge. Discuss with your doctor which medicine is right for you.

5) Get Support:

Tell your family and friends that you are quitting so they can support you and understand your challenge. Include them in your journey to freedom.

Use the resources mentioned above to get help in you journey to freedom.

Keep in mind, it may take multiple attempts before you finally quit. So, don’t give up. Keep trying and seek help! Every cigarette you avoid is saving you and people around you.

And once you quit, become a champion, and help others!

Want to learn more? Check out these websites:

Let's say goodbye to smoking for good!

Better Breathing with PEP Buddy - your personal breathing coach 


Author & expert review by Dr Ralph J Panos, MD & Muhammad Ahsan Zafar, MD, MS. Dr Panos and Dr Zafar are Pulmonologists and co-founder of PEP Buddy. This blog is for general information. Please discuss your health issues with you doctors/ medical team.