Learn how to quit...and stay quit!
To have the best chance at quitting and staying a non-smoker, you need to know what you're up against, what your options are and where to go for help! If you are addicted to smoking, quit today.
It is the most important step you can take to protect your health.
We understand that changing a long-standing habit may not be easy. But if you plan and prepare to quit smoking, you are much more likely to be successful. Why quit smoking? Tobacco smoke contains more than 4000 chemicals. Every time you smoke, these chemicals enter your lungs, thus increasing your risk of developing heart disease, stroke and cancer. Smoking facts on an average, smokers die around 10 years younger than non-smokers. Smokers have nearly twice the risk of having heart attack compared to people who never smoke.
It is common knowledge today that smoking is injurious and even fatal to health. Awareness campaigns and statutory warnings in the public media have increased to a great extent over the past decade. The World Health Organization, founded the world 'Anti-smoking day' on the 31st of May in 1987. However, cigarette smoking and other forms of tobacco use continue to be on an alarming rise. According to the WHO (2014), Tobacco kills nearly 6 million of its users every year, 600, 000 deaths due to the effects of second-hand smoke. At this pace, the death toll could rise up to 8 million by 2030. There are many good reasons to quit smoking and it is important to keep these reasons in mind when the going gets tough in trying to kick the habit.
How smoking hurts you
People with diabetes who smoke are putting their lives at risk. Many women are afraid of breast cancer. But you may not know that lung cancer kills more than breast cancer. Smoking also raises your risk for heart attack and stroke. People with diabetes are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. Four times more likely! If you smoke AND have diabetes, your risk goes up. You are 11 times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
More than two out of three people with diabetes die of a heart attack or stroke. Usually, women seem to do a little bit better than men. They usually get heart disease later in life than men do. Smoking hurts more than just your heart. It also raises your blood sugar. And it raises the risk for other problems that diabetes may cause. People with diabetes who smoke have:
• More damage to nerves and blood vessels
• More serious foot problems like slow-healing wounds
• More kidney damage
Not a pretty picture, is it? Yet, many people downplay the health risks of smoking. If you want to live a long, healthy life, you should quit smoking.
Quitting is hard
Some people with diabetes still smoke, even though it's bad for them.
Quitting is hard. If you never smoked, or have quit, good for you! If you smoke and wish you didn't, knowing why you smoke could be a first step towards quitting. Here are some of the reasons I hear most often.
“I'm addicted.” Cigarettes have nicotine in them. Nicotine is addictive, so it's no surprise many people are “hooked.” If you try to quit, you may get headaches and feel dizzy or restless. This is because your body misses the nicotine. You may even feel this way when you have not had a cigarette for awhile.
“Smoking gives me energy.” Nicotine works like coffee for some people. It wakes them up and gets them going. When they are tired, it can also keep them going.
“I smoke to relax.” Many people say smoking helps ease stress. It's amazing, but nicotine can pick you up and it can settle you down.
“I like smoking.” Most smokers tell me they enjoy smoking. It brings them pleasure and makes good times even better.
“Smoking curbs my appetite.” Some people say they eat less when they smoke. This can be important for people with diabetes, especially when they are worried about their weight.
How to quit
There is not one right way to quit smoking. Some people just decide they will never smoke again, and they stop then and there. Most people have a harder time quitting. Many try several times before they succeed. The best way for you to quit might depend on why you smoke.
If you smoke because you are addicted, nicotine patches or gum may help. Tell family and friends that you are quitting and ask for their support. Avoid being tempted, and hang in there when you commit to quit. Withdrawal symptoms like headaches last for a few weeks.
If you smoke because it gives you more energy, look for other ways to increase your get up and go. Get plenty of rest, find ways to be more active, eat well and avoid being bored.
If smoking relaxes you, getting more rest, moving more and cutting stress can help you quit. So can doing things that relax you, like listening to soothing music.
If you simply enjoy smoking, try focusing on the upside of quitting. Pay attention to how food tastes when you don't smoke. Notice how good you look and feel about yourself.
If you smoke to control your weight, talk to your health care provider or a dietitian about how not to gain weight when you quit
Staying off cigarettes
Many people say they are very tempted by cigarettes for at least three months after they quit. And it only takes one cigarette to get you right back to your old habit. Staying off cigarettes can be very hard.
Keep in mind your reasons for quitting. Feel better day-to-day? Or save the money you spend on cigarettes? Think about what you could do with the money you would save each year.
Best wishes for a long, healthy, smoke-free life.