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The information that smoking is bad for us is everywhere, but for diabetics, smoking can be even more damaging.

Beyond the usual reasons, why shouldn’t I smoke if I have diabetes?

Smoking is now proven to be an independent risk factor for diabetes, and amongst diabetics it increases the risk of complications.
Diabetes complications already include heart disease, stroke and circulation problems. Smoking adds to the risk of developing all of these things.

In some cases, smoking can double the likelihood of these conditions, as well as doubling the chances of suffering from kidney problems and erectile dysfunction.

For type 2 diabetics, the major cause of death is cardiovascular disease.

How does smoking increase my heart disease risk as a diabetic?

Smoking and diabetes both increase the risk of heart disease in very similar ways, and so when combined, they greatly exacerbate the chances of suffering a heart related condition such as a heart attack or stroke.

Both high levels of glucose in the blood and smoking damage the walls of the arteries in such a way that fatty deposits can build up much easier. As this occurs, the blood vessels narrow and make circulating blood much harder.

When this happens to the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood and therefore oxygen) a heart attack can occur.

Similarly, a stroke is when not enough blood can get to the brain, and so anything that may limit blood flow increases the risks of a stroke.

High blood glucose levels also have this effect on the blood vessels and blood flow, so if you smoke when you have diabetes, you are putting yourself at a much greater risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

We’ve got lots of information on other reasons to quit smoking on our website or get in touch for further support. For more information on diabetes in particular please visit www.diabetes.co.uk

How much money could you save by stopping smoking?

Answer the two questions below and then click “Calculate” to see how much money you could save!

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Your savings

Please note that the figures above are simply an indication of how much you could save based on the cost of a packet of cigarettes and your daily intake.