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Smoking

Kick the habit

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Even before you got diabetes, smoking would have increased your chance of heart disease, stroke and cancer. Smoking also narrows your blood vessels, and healthy blood vessels are very important for people with diabetes.

If you're a non-smoker you halve the risk of developing many of the health problems smokers with diabetes face. But that's years ahead right? Er, think again.

Bad facts about smoking

  • It burns a hole in your pocket: if you smoke just 10 a day, that'll cost you £28.00 per week, £112 per month, and a huge £1344 a year.
  • It gives you bad breathe and stains your teeth and gums.
  • Teenage smokers get more asthma and chest problems than non smokers, they also have poorer health and are less fit.
  • On average, smokers die 10 years younger than nonsmokers.  
  • While you're smoking you put other people at risk from passive smoking. It's against the law to smoke in indoor public places, like pubs, clubs and on public transport.
  • Smoking ages you – smokers get wrinkles much earlier than non-smokers and you're more likely to go grey and lose your hair. 
  • It's addictive.

Good facts about smoking

  • There really is nothing good about smoking.

Tempted to kick the habit?

Some diabetes clinics run special programmes for people who want to give up. Find out if yours does – and don't be afraid to tell them you smoke, they'll have seen hundreds of people like you before. Or try these organisations:

Quit – for help to quit smoking 

NHS Choices – help on giving up 

Heard any of these before?

‘Smoking relaxes me’

Sure, life can be stressful, with or without diabetes. Nicotine is a stimulant – it speeds up the body's processes instead of slowing them down. The only reason you feel relaxed by smoking a fag is because it relieves the itch for nicotine. Stupid, isn't it?

‘I'll give up soon’

How many times have you heard this from other people? The longer you carry on, the harder it is to stop.

‘I'll put on weight if I give up’

Smoking doesn't make you slim. You won't necessarily put on weight if you give up either.

‘I haven't been smoking long enough to have done any damage’

Smoking just one cigarette takes into your body gases and chemicals that cause cancer and other diseases. You start to improve your health as soon as you stop.

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