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Quality Health Care and You - Diabetes

Not Smoking

What it is

Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known. Most people are exposed to it through smoking, which is very damaging to the body.

How it Relates to Diabetes

Smoking has many bad health effects for everyone. For people with diabetes, who already have a host of health concerns, smoking intensifies the health risks they face, especially when it comes to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Smoking raises blood pressure levels, whether you're diabetic or not.

With 70% of diabetics already diagnosed with high blood pressure, smoking only makes it harder to control your diabetes. Smoking also constricts blood vessels. This can cause circulation problems in your feet and can contribute to a heart attack or stroke. If that wasn't enough, nicotine also raises blood sugar levels. It is not yet known whether nicotine addiction causes diabetes, but research on this is currently underway.

The Quality Standard - How to Know You're Okay

Not smoking is the key to this standard.

What You Can Do

Stop Smoking! There's no way around it. Make a plan to quit – start by setting a quit date. Ask your family, friends and co-workers for support. There are medications out there that can help you, so get help from your doctor if you feel you want it. Keep trying even if you're not successful the first time. Don't give up – your health depends on it!

To Learn More

For more information:

Go to the Quality Health Care and You - Diabetes health topic, where you can:

This article is a NetWellness exclusive.

Last Reviewed: Dec 07, 2012

David C Aron, MD, MS David C Aron, MD, MS
Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University

Bette K Idemoto, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, CCRN Bette K Idemoto, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, CCRN
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
Case Western Reserve University