Advice if you smoke

Advice if you smoke

Smoking increases the risk of developing the well-known complications of diabetes. Smoking also raises your blood glucose levels and increases your body’s resistance to insulin (due to nicotine). 

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Smoking significantly increases the risk of a heart attack or a stroke. As people with diabetes are already at higher risk of this due to diabetes, the total risk increases about four-fold.

Furthermore, experts agree that smoking (tobacco) is the single biggest avoidable cause of cancer in the world.

Health benefits

The health benefits of stopping smoking are huge and immediate:

Diagram showing the health benefits of stopping smoking. After: 20 minutes: your heart rate and blood pressure drop 12 hours: carbon dioxide levels in your blood return to normal 3 months: your circulation and lung function improve and your risk of a heart attack decreases 9 months: You'll be able to breathe easier and cough less 1 year: your risk of heart disease decreases by 50% 2-5 years: your risk of mouth, throat, oesophagus and bladder cancer decreases by 50%. Your risk of having a stroke is also reduced to that of a non-smoker 10 years: You are half as likely to die from lung cancer and your risk of kidney or pancreatic cancer decreases 15 years: Your risk of developing coronary heart disease is the same as that of a non-smoker

What support is available to help me quit?

The good news is that there is a lot of support available to help you stop smoking. The first stop for many is their GP or healthcare professional. They can signpost you to local programmes that are free to attend and are staffed by expert advisers that will help find the best method to quit.

Sometimes this might be a group support session or a one-to-one meeting with a smoking advisor. Overall you are 4 times more likely to stop smoking for good if you engage with an NHS Stop Smoking Service that can offer a mixture of different treatments. To find what Stop Smoking Services are available in your area, put your postcode into the finder on the NHS Smokefree website.

We live now in a digital age and there are many digital tools that you can use to help you quit. Have a look at the NHS Smokefree website which has lots of information and you can design your own personal plan. They also have their own Smokefree app which is available to download for free on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Further information

For more information around the science and evidence behind quitting smoking, have a look at the DocMikeEvans video below.

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