September 3


How Smoking Affects Diabetes and Tips to Quit

By Gabriela

September 3, 2021

Those who smoke should know that is very important to stop. As most people already know, smoking impacts many aspects of health, and in those with diabetes, it influences their diabetes management.

Ex-smokers often say that quitting is hard, maybe even the hardest thing. But, millions have quit smoking, which means that anyone can do it.

Moreover, smoking kills more people in comparison to other bad habits together. In those with diabetes, it makes the condition worse.

Why Is It Addictive?

It is actually very easy to hook to smoking. That happens because of the nicotine. Nicotine is actually an addictive substance that is part of tobacco. This substance might make people feel good and stimulate stress relief and relaxation.

Furthermore, it acts on the brain and nervous system to promote levels of dopamine. Dopamine is known as the “feel-good” chemical.

But the trick here is that the effects of nicotine fade quickly, and that is when we have the urge to light up again, and this becomes a vicious circle.

What happens is that the body begins to build up a tolerance and there is a need for more nicotine to stop feeling edgy and irritable. This is that circle of dependency.

If we smoke, there are big chances to light up again when we are upset, stressed out, or anxious. It is like that since smoking can offer quick relief and it can help us to calm down.

Why It Is Difficult to Stop Smoking

The American Cancer Society notes that 2 out of 3 smokers actually want to quit, and half try every year, but most of them are not able to do that without the necessary help. The nicotine leads to emotional and physical dependence which is tough to break.

According to one research, it is actually easier to stop using drugs that are hard-core like cocaine in comparison to quitting smoking. Moreover, often people underestimate the whole process of quitting but it can actually be very challenging.

How Does Smoking Impact Diabetes?

Those with diabetes and who are smokers are actually at risk for specific health problems. Those health problems are nerve damage, kidney disease, eye disease, heart disease, and poor circulation that can cause amputation and infection.

Moreover, smoking might lead to insulin resistance. As a matter of fact, smoking is thought to be a risk factor when it comes to obtaining type 2 diabetes.

Smokers are from 30 percent to 40 percent more likely to obtain type 2 diabetes. This is in comparison to nonsmokers.

In case we have type 2 diabetes, we might discover that smoking can cause higher blood glucose and make it harder when it comes to managing blood glucose.

Over time, uncontrolled blood glucose might raise the risk of diabetes-related complications such as nerve disease, heart disease, eye disease, and kidney disease.

How to Quit Smoking

There are a few ways that can help us leave this nasty habit for good. Bear in mind that probably we won’t make it at first, it might take a few tries.

If we are not successful at the first attempt, we should try not to feel bad cause every attempt will bring us closer to the final success.

Ways to Quit Smoking:

  • Consult our doctor and make a plan
  • Prepare for the quit day. Choose one day not too far off in the future, and that will be the first day of better changes
  • Change our routine; smoking is usually paired with some activities, change them or avoid them
  • Learn to manage the urge to smoke. Do something to distract ourselves until the urge goes away
  • Consider using NRT, i.e., nicotine replacement therapy. It can come in the form of inhalers, patches, nasal sprays, gum, and lozenges
  • Try alternative therapies such as meditation, acupuncture, yoga, hypnosis, herbal supplements, and laser therapy
  • Support our journey with smartphone apps which are smoke-free apps. Such apps are Smoke-Free, QuitGuide, Kwit, Craving to Quit, and quiet start. Some of these apps are free, and some are not

After We Quit Smoking

After we quit, we will feel and also look better. There are many benefits which we will enjoy. Some of them are lower blood pressure and lower heart rate, improvement of our lung function, and recovery of our immune system.

All we need is a will, to make a plan and the most important thing to start.


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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