If you smoke, you already know two things: It’s bad for your health, and it’s very hard to quit. But now, there have never been more resources available for people who want to quit smoking. So even if you’ve tried to quit before, it may be time to try again.
Studies have shown that the risk for cardiovascular disease is up to 14 times higher among smokers with diabetes compared with smoking or diabetes alone. Smoking worsens the nerve and kidney damage associated with diabetes.
The Keys to Quitting — Planning and Persistence
Before you attempt to quit, it is helpful to keep a journal. Write down when and why you tend to light up. Do you smoke because of stress? For emotional reasons, or because everyone else is doing it? Knowing the triggers can help you to form an individual action plan.
According to the National Cancer Institute, there are five steps to quitting smoking: 1. Set your quit date, within two weeks of making the decision to quit. Pick a time when you won’t be experiencing a lot of stress. If you usually smoke at work, try quitting on you day off. 2. Tell your friends, family and co-workers about your plan to quit. Ask for their support and patience. 3. Anticipate challenges. The physical addiction to nicotine may cause withdrawal symptoms when you quit. You may feel depressed, grouchy or anxious. You may gain weight or have trouble sleeping. If these symptoms are making it difficult to stay smoke-free, you may want to try medication. 4. Remove smoking triggers. Throw out all cigarettes, tobacco, lighters and matches from you work, home and car. 5. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist about whether you should consider using over-the-counter and prescription medication to enhance your success and what other resources (e.g., websites, associations, support groups) are available to help you quit.