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May 31st is “World No-Tobacco Day”

So what do diabetes and World No-Tobacco Day have in common?

Actually I was shocked when I did the research…

 I suppose I should have known…but I didn’t…

Smoking causes diabetes?!?

According to the CDC smokers are 30-40% more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. And smokers have a harder time managing and controlling their diabetes.

What I’ve seen with my smoking patients is that they seem to develop the complications of diabetes at a warp speed. Just a few of what I’ve seen:

      Kidney disease develops younger and worsens quicker

      Heart attack and stroke at a younger age

      Neuropathy (painful sensations, or lack of sensation to feet) and poor circulation to feet

      Eye disease that results in blindness.

      Early death

Honestly, stopping the habit of smoking tobacco or inhaling Nicotine trumps improving diabetes. Now don’t get me wrong, of course improving your diabetes health is important. It’s actually better to focus on stopping smoking tobacco or inhaling Nicotine first, then move forward with managing and controlling your diabetes. This is true for those who do best by focusing on one lifestyle change at a time.

Smoking is more addictive than Heroin, I learned in a smoking cessation class I was required to attend at our hospital. After hearing that I could understand why I see that it’s so hard for many to quit smoking.

So if you do smoke tobacco, and you have diabetes, I’m crossing all my fingers on both hands that you will do whatever it takes to eliminate tobacco. Let me share a few tips, then direct you to the experts for smoking cessation.

First come up with a compelling reason you want to quit. Maybe you want to be healthier, or have closer relationships with nonsmoking family or friends, or to look younger longer (yep that would be my pick since I’ll admit to vanity), or you’re tired of the expense of it all on many levels: physical, financial, relational. Keep this compelling reason top of mind every day, and every time you light up.

Pick a stop smoking date, then begin to plan how it will happen.  Consider if you will need support in terms of medicines/patches/hypnosis etc and begin planning backwards so you will have the steps in place.

Recruit a friend or family member who has quit. Read about tips of former smokers. The CDC has a great website with information: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/guide/reasons-to-quit.html.

My half-sister, whom I only knew for 10 years was a smoker. After a long battle she finally was smoke free for 3 years, and then found out she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Hers was a long and painful death, and I don’t wish that on anyone. So if you smoke, I hope you find a way to stop. Not just for you, but also for those who love you. Make this the first day of your No Tobacco life!