The new year is the universal sign of renewal and is a time to prepare for new beginnings. Many people use it as a time to make healthier choices. I cannot think of a better time to quit smoking. Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body and is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer. In 2009, 25,400 lives were prematurely lost due to tobacco use in New York. The toll on families is too much.