Smoking and Diabetes


If you have diabetes, quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health.  The dangerous chemicals in cigarette smoke affect your blood vessels, contributing to atherosclerosis, otherwise known as “hardening of the arteries”. Having higher blood sugar levels also accelerates atherosclerosis.  This combination of higher blood sugar levels and smoking increases damage to the blood vessels that carry oxygen to the heart, brain, eyes, kidneys and nerves. This speeds up the long-term complications of diabetes.  Quitting smoking can help prevent or delay the onset of these complications.


         If you are thinking about quitting smoking, here are some things to consider:

           - what are the benefits to quitting?

           - who will support me?

           - what will I miss if I quit?

           - how will I prepare myself?




If you are ready to quit, here are some helpful tips:

   - speak to your doctor, pharmacist, other health care provider

   - search online to get as much information as you can about options that may help you quit

   - identify a support person(s) or support group

   - look for resources (in print or online) to help
   - set a "quit date"



If you have decided to quit, here are some helpful tips:

   - if you feel the urge to smoke, wait 10 minutes

   - drink plenty of water to help manage withdrawal symptoms
   - substitute sugarless gum, carrot sticks or low calorie snacks to control the urge to smoke
   - keep your hands busy with something like keys or coins
   - make your home and car smoke-free by having them professionally cleaned

   - purchase some nicotine replacement therapy.  It helps with withdrawal symptoms and does not require a prescription from your doctor.  It is available as a gum, 

     patch or inhaler

   - ask your doctor for a prescription for other oral medications that can help reduce your smoking cravings



If you are looking for online resources, here are some helpful sites:

   - Smokers Helpline

   - Quit Now
   - Branded resources:


Quitting smoking is not easy; take it one day at a time. You CAN do it!