Diabetes and Smoking

The devastating negative impact of cigarette smoking on health, such as increasing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, cancer and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are well known. What may be less well known is that cigarette smoking is one of the most important modifiable risk factors for Diabetes. Smokers are 30-40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. People with diabetes who smoke are more likely than nonsmokers to have trouble with insulin dosing and controlling their disease. 

The chemicals in cigarettes cause harm to the body’s cells and can interfere with their normal function. This can cause inflammation through the body, which may decrease the effectiveness of insulin. Nicotine can raise blood sugar, create insulin resistance, and raise LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides. 

Quitting smoking is difficult, but possible, and one of the best things you can do for your health and quality of life.

Suggestions to help quit smoking and other tobacco products are: 

  • Know your “Why.” Make a list of all the reasons of why you want a smoke-free lifestyle.
  • Set a quit date. Your “why” will drive you into action because it’s what you want to do. 
  • Engage support. Your doctor can provide tips or prescribe medications or over-the-counter-aids. Try smoking cessation counseling, or call a quit line.
  • Don’t give up. Learn new ways to deal with stressful situations, avoid triggers, and find alternatives like taking a walk, drinking water or chewing gum to distract you during cravings.