What a great night it was! On Tuesday past (10/13/15) I had the pleasure of participating in a Twitter chat party on diabetes and smoking cessation. The chat was placed on various platforms, so viewers from around the world could take part in the discussion. The final transcript of the chat is available on Twitter, under #DiabetesChat. Links at the end of this article will route you to various social media platforms that were involved in the chat party.
As discussed during the chat, smoking has no true health benefits, and significantly raises the risk of diabetes by 30-40%. Although smoking is not a direct “cause” of diabetes, smoking causes inflammatory changes in your body, raising the risk of multiple chronic disease processes. Cigarettes and other tobacco products can contain carcinogens (cancer causing agents) and raise the risk of not only diabetes, but heart disease and strokes. Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict, further reducing blood flow to vital organs, and elevating blood pressure.
The decision to stop smoking (“smoking cessation”) is a very personal decision. Various ideas were discussed on how best to prepare for a better life through smoking cessation. Both former smokers and health care providers joined in this discussion, identifying what works best for breaking the smoking habit.
Some great ideas included the following:
Clear your personal environment of smoking materials- cigarettes, ash trays, matches etc.
Pick a “quit date” and research NRT ( nicotine replacement therapy) options with your doctor, pharmacist and insurance coverage. Find out what will work best for you, in terms of product and cost.
Enlist family/friends for support. Get a buddy system in place to support your decision.
Evaluate your current lifestyle- identify situations where smoking may occur- take up new hobbies that discourage smoking (swimming, jogging).
Create a personalized reward system for your success. Former smokers have saved up monies spent for cigarettes and bought everything from jewelry to a vacation.
Preplan for the anxiety and irritability that is often associated with smoking withdrawal. It will pass, but in the meantime, be sure to get enough sleep, stay hydrated, and keep active.
Prepare for the risk of minor weight gain (7-10 pounds weight gain) that has been noted in many former smokers. Buy healthy snacks, increase activity, try a new exercise, calculate calories, keep a logbook of food intake, and consider journaling your day-to-day success.
Special thanks to Costco for arranging this chat and Perrigo, makers of Kirkland NRT products. Again, check out the links below to find the latest information on smoking, and diabetes.
Thank you to everyone who joined the chat party event. I wish you continued good health and happiness.