How to quit smoking with diabetes

Quitting smoking is always good for your health and if you have diabetes know for sure that quitting smoking will help you in more ways than you even know. Smoking and diabetes together can do havoc on your health and can be actually dangerous as the combination invites a number of other deadlier conditions as well, including heart diseases. So, if you have diabetes, quitting smoking at the earliest is vital for you.

Why you should quit smoking at the earliest if you have diabetes

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First of all, smoking increases your risk of getting type 2 diabetes by reducing the insulin sensitivity of the body. The more you smoke the chance of getting type 2 diabetes increases. So, for the pre-diabetic people, smoking can work as a trigger for type 2 diabetes. Amongst the people who already have diabetes, smoking can be one of the primary reasons of worsening of the condition. In fact, in smokers, it becomes much more difficult to control diabetes which can damage the internal organs as well.

When you have diabetes, Type 1 or Type 2, in both the cases the control of glucose levels in your blood is vital and studies have shown that that glucose control is much poorer in smokers compared to non-smokers or ex-smokers. Quitting smoking can be highly effective to bring your blood glucose level under control.

Smoking also adds to the other health problems related to diabetes. If you have diabetes and you smoke your risk of getting eye problems, kidney disorders and nerve problems increases to a great extent. Conditions of heart and blood vessels are also common amongst diabetic people who smoke. The nicotine in the smoke hardens and thickens the arteries which take away the natural flexibility of the arteries and results into high blood pressure.

Having stated about how smoking can be dangerous for people with diabetes or even for people who are in the prediabetic range, now let us get into how to quit smoking if you have diabetes. The best thing about quitting smoking is that, once you are able to stop the habit you can see the improvements in your health instantly. When you are trying to quit smoking you really need not to take any special measure only because you have diabetes. Read on to know how to quit smoking with diabetes.

Quit it on your own

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If you are really willing to quit smoking, because you have diabetes, you can do it even without any help. If you have a strong will, following the right measures as mentioned below can be highly effective to quit smoking. Here is a step by step guide on how to quit it on your own,

Chalk down how smoking is affecting your health

You already know it very well how exactly it is harming your body, but writing them down in a personal diary can be effective to keep you on the track. So, write down why you actually want and need to quit smoking, so that you can refer to it whenever you feel an urge to get a smoke.

Decide a quit date

The next step of quitting smoking on your own is to decide a quit date. It is best to decide the date at the earliest and yet most logical, because postponing the date continuously will not help. If there is a special outing or a party where you might need to smoke, you can easily set the quit date after that to make it more feasible for you.

Come up with a quit plan

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If you cannot quit smoking altogether, you can also opt to reduce smoking considerably and then quit it completely. In that case it is important for you to decide the quit date and to come up with a plan to meet the quit date without fail. If you are opting for a quitting plan write it down in your personal diary and make it a point to stick to it in every way.

Make smoke difficult to get

When you are trying to quit smoking on your own, making it difficult for you to get a smoke can be highly effective. First of all, get rid of all the stock that you have at home or at your office. Once it becomes difficult for you to get a smoke, it is more likely that your smoking will automatically come down.

Avoid triggers

Avoiding the triggers particularly during the first few weeks of starting with the quit plan is vital because triggers can add to the urge of having a smoke. Many things can work as a trigger, starting from the ashtray in your home to having a drink or going out with people who smoke. So, when you are on a plan to quit smoking or when you have just quitted smoking, avoid any kind of triggers unless you are fully confident about yourself.

Engage in activities that you enjoy

Engaging yourself in activities and hobbies that you enjoy and like to do can be a good way to relax your nerves, which can help in minimizing anxiety and to fight the other withdrawal symptoms of smoking as well. Taking up regular exercise can also be very helpful in this regard, as exercising is related to secretion of certain hormones in the body that can be highly helpful to fight stress and mood swings.

Treatments for quitting smoking

Quitting smoking on your own can be a real good thing, but if you have tried to quit it before, but have failed, in that case, opting for medical help can be the right way to go. For quitting smoking the nicotine replacement therapies can be actually helpful. There are also medications that can provide you with the support you need. So, if you are trying to quit smoking because of diabetes but you are finding it hard to cope with the urge to smoke and other withdrawal symptoms, opting for NRTs or other smoke quitting pills can be helpful.

Nicotine replacement therapies

Nicotine replacement therapies or NRTs can be highly effective to quit smoking. However, it is important to keep in mind that NRTs will still supply nicotine to your body, which will continue stealing the flexibility of your arteries hampering your cardiovascular health as a whole. So, even when you are on NRTs you have to ensure to quit the NRTs as well within a few months. Though the span of NRTs can extend till 1 year, for patients of diabetes it is suggested to quit it much early. Your doctor can be the right person to suggest you with the best time to quit it and also to provide you with a plan on how to quit it. Some of the common NRTs that are effective in this regard include,

Nicotine patches

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Here a nicotine patch is applied on your skin which supplies a steady dose of nicotine to the body helping you to curb the urge and also to fight the withdrawal symptoms more easily.

Nicotine gums

Nicotine gums need to be chewed and parked in the mouth and they supply nicotine to the body in a steady amount without the other harmful chemicals present in cigarette. You can use as much as 24 nicotine gums in a day to start with and then reduce the dose considerably with time.

Nicotine sprays

Nicotine sprays are available in form of inhalers as well. These sprays provide a quick supply of nicotine to your body when used. These sprays can be effective to get direct control over the amount of nicotine you take in a day.


Currently, two particular drugs are being used for quitting smoking. These medicines do not contain any nicotine. These medicines are safe for use by the diabetics but before you start with the medication it is really important to discuss with your doctor about any physical condition that you have and any medicines that you are already taking.

Bupropion SR pills

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It is a strictly prescription medication which can be highly helpful to control the urge of getting a smoke and also to fight with the different withdrawal symptoms of nicotine like restlessness, lack of focus and depression. You need to start taking this pill earlier before the date of quitting smoking to get the best benefits. Talk with your doctor to known in detail about the usage, dosage as well as the probable side effects of this medication.

Varenicline pills

Varenicline is also a prescription medication that can be helpful to quit smoking. The drug is usually safe for people with diabetes and it helps by curbing the urge to get a smoke. This medicine blocks the receptors in the brain that promotes the pleasantness of having a smoke and as you are on this medication, smoking will slowly become least attractive for you.  This medicine also helps in fighting with the withdrawal symptoms.

Hypnosis for quitting smoking with diabetes

Patients who are highly diabetic and might not be suitable candidates for NRTs or even for pills due to different health conditions, hypnosis can be an effective way to leave the addiction. Hypnosis works at the psychological level and might be effective to quit smoking. However, the efficiency of this therapy is still under debate.

Meditation for quitting smoking with diabetes

Meditation can be another effective way to quit smoking and the best thing is that, it will not only ensure that quitting smoking becomes much easier for you, but will also promote overall well being. Meditation relaxes your nerves and senses, which can be highly effective to fight anxiety and to ward off the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine without any side effects.