Holidays are a time for rejoicing but some of our brothers and sisters struggle with overcoming challenges related to alcohol use and smoking. This is especially true this time of year, when celebrations abound. There are many resources available to those who struggle with alcohol and smoking addictions. Yale University is also conducting clinical research to try and find new treatments to help those of us who have trouble overcoming the challenges of excess alcohol consumption and smoking. During this season of giving, participating in a clinical research study is one way you can help not only yourself, but also others in our community.

Alcohol and Your Health
About 1 in 4 people who drink heavily may have alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse problems. Alcohol’s effects on your brain and body depend on the ways you drink – such as how much and how often – as well as your age, gender, and overall health status. Research shows that people who drink moderately may be less likely to experience an alcohol use disorder These drinking levels, which differ for men and women, are:

For men:
No more than 4 drinks on any single day AND no more than 14 drinks per week
For women:
No more than 3 drinks on any single day AND no more than 7 drinks per week.

Even within these limits, you can have problems if you drink too quickly or have other health issues. To keep your risk for problems low, make sure you:
  • Drink slowly
  • Eat enough while drinking

Smoking and Your Health
Cigarette smoking causes about 1 in every 5 deaths in the United States each year. It's the main preventable cause of death and illness in the United States.

Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, including the heart, blood vessels, lungs, eyes, mouth, reproductive organs, bones, bladder, and digestive organs.

No matter how much or how long you've smoked, quitting will benefit you. For example, heart disease risk associated with smoking begins to decrease soon after you quit. It continues to decrease over time. Your risk is cut in half 1 year after quitting. If you have not developed heart disease within 15 years of quitting, your risk is nearly the same as the risk in someone who has never smoked.

Quitting smoking can lower your risk of heart disease as much as, or more than, common medicines used to lower heart disease risk, including aspirin, statins, beta-blockers, and ACE inhibitors.

Research at Yale University
Doctors at Yale are conducting research to help people who would like to reduce or stop drinking and/or smoking. They are focused on finding better treatments to help people drink or smoke less, or stop entirely. Smoking and drinking are often connected, so they are also looking at treatments that work for both of these together.

If you would like to reduce or stop smoking or drinking, now is a good time to find out whether you might qualify for studies that could help you.

To find out more about alcohol and smoking studies at Yale, visit or call 1-877-978-8343.

Courtesy of NIAAA and NHLBI