ABCDEs of Diabetes: S for smoking cessation

nextexitIn the past ABCDEs posts (read them all here!), we have discussed how high blood sugars can affect different parts of our bodies. It is also important to know how smoking can affect us:

  • the ingredients in cigarettes are harmful and can damage our blood vessels
  • the blood vessels can become hard, making it difficult for the blood to transport the oxygen throughout our body
  • with diabetes, the damage to our blood vessels from both cigarettes and high blood sugars could affect our heart, brain, eyes, kidneys, and peripheral nerves.

When you want to stop smoking, you need to take into consideration the addiction (to nicotine) as well as the smoking habit.

Suggestions to get you started on stopping a smoking habit

  • Nicotine patches or gums are available without a prescription. Speak to a healthcare professional for more information.
  • Oral medications to reduce smoking cravings are also available – speak to your doctor.
  • Consider a smoking logbook:
    • write down the times you smoke/what you were doing
    • include how you felt and who you were with
    • are your smoking times linked to a particular activity? For example, do you always smoke after eating or when drinking coffee? If yes, is there something else you can do instead of smoking?
  • Choose a day to officially stop smoking.
    • write down the day in your calendar
    • write down the reasons why
    • on that day, do not smoke any cigarette. Try to keep yourself busy with other activities and try to avoid people or situations that make you smoke.
  • Throw away your cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters…
  • Join a support group, whether in person or on the phone:
  • Ask your friends and family for help. They can be a great source of support and encouragement. They might also be willing to quit smoking as well.
  • Don’t give up! If stopping to smoke is not successful the first few times, try again.
    • write down why stopping to smoke didn’t work
    • if you haven’t asked for help then join a support group, speak to a counselor/therapist, or speak to your healthcare professional
    • always remind yourself why you want to stop smoking
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