Smoking and diabetes

How can smoking affect my diabetes?

Smoking and diabetes are a bad combination. Smoking can worsen other medical problems that you may have, like heart disease.

Smoking can affect your diabetes by
• Raising your blood sugar
– This means it will be harder to keep your blood sugar levels under control.
• Damaging your blood vessels
– This means that you’re more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or leg and foot infections.
• Increasing your blood pressure
– This means that you’re more likely to have a
heart attack or stroke.

If you have diabetes and you smoke, you are 3 times more likely to die of heart disease. It is important to work with your health care provider on a plan to quit.

Commit to quit

You CAN quit smoking, but it may be challenging. Before you begin, talk to your health care provider about a plan that may work best for you. Some ways to quit include:

• Going cold turkey, which means stopping right away
• Stopping slowly by cutting back on the number of cigarettes you smoke each day until you quit for good
• Setting a target date to quit by
• Get involved in indoor or outdoor activities.
This is healthy and will help take your mind off smoking. However, always talk to your health care provider before starting any exercise program.

Why it’s so hard to quit

Quitting smoking can be very hard for many reasons.
Here are 2 of them:

• Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known. It can have a calming, satisfying effect, and the more you smoke, the more your body needs nicotine to feel normal.
• You may link smoking with many things you do every day, such as drinking coffee or alcohol, driving, and talking with friends who smoke. Also, smoking may be the way your respond when you are bored, angry, or upset.

Get support

Get support from a group or organization. Some groups that offer support are:
– American Cancer Society
– American Lung Association
– Nicotine Anonymous
– YMCA

You can also call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free coaching and information and to learn about places near you that can help.

Provided as an educational resource by Merck