We all know that smoking is bad for our health, regardless of whether we have diabetes or not.
While most people associate this bad habit with cancer, it has now been proven that smoking if you have diabetes is especially harmful. If you already have diabetes, then smoking is especially harmful. Smoking makes it harder to manage your blood glucose levels (BGLs), which in turn can lead to other diabetes related complications.
Smokers who have diabetes are at double the risk of developing heart disease. They also have a higher risk of other serious complications including:
- kidney disease
- poor circulation to the legs and feet, which can lead to infections, ulcers and possible amputation.
It is a big step to quit smoking. It is likely that quitting smoking will prove a challenge, and you are likely to encourage a number of setbacks on the way. Remember, it is common for smokers to try to quit a number of times before stopping for good.
Fortunately, there are plenty of medications, resources and support services that you can access to help you achieve your goal. You will increase your chance of success by planning your efforts to quit and getting the right support. If you have diabetes, a good place to start is your GP and healthcare team, who will be able to discuss an appropriate strategy with you.
For more detailed information you can also visit Quitnow (external site) or call the Quitline on 13 78 48.
See our factsheets for more information on diabetes and smoking.