Smoking and Diabete

Smoking and Diabete
January 1, 2009

s it important to quit smoking if you have diabetes? Very much so, says the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Smoking is unhealthy for anyone, but smoking and diabetes is a truly deadly combination.

Even if you don’t smoke, your risk of getting heart disease or having a stroke increases two to four times simply because you have diabetes. Diabetes can cause blocked arteries, which leads to heart attacks and strokes. Smoking makes this even worse, and the risk of serious heart problems when you have diabetes and smoke is about 10 times greater than for someone who doesn’t have diabetes or smoke.

Here are some tips from the American Lung Association (ALA) for quitting smoking:

- Pick a good time. Don’t try to quit when you’re under a lot of stress.

- Join a stop-smoking program for support – either one in your local area or an online group (The ALA has an online “Freedom From Smoking” program).

- Walk or participate in some other exercise to reduce the stress of quitting and boost your mood.

- Ask family, friends and co-workers for help. Having someone there just to listen can give a needed boost.

- Don’t give up. Most smokers need to “practice” quitting several times before they make it for good, according to the ALA.

- Learn more about nicotine replacement therapy. Since quitting smoking is a two-step process (overcoming the addition to nicotine, then breaking the smoking habit), nicotine replacements, such as nicotine gum, can help.
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