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Health Department Notes

Diabetes and smoking Smoking is bad for everyone, and it’s especially risky if you have diabetes. The nicotine in cigarettes makes your blood vessels harden and narrow, curbing blood flow around your body. And since diabetes makes you more likely to get heart disease, you definitely don’t want the extra risk that comes from smoking. No matter how much or how long you have smoked, quitting helps your health. You’ll feel better, look better (since smoking gives you wrinkles before you’re old), and you’ll save money, too. Listed are some tips to help you quit, based on guidelines from the American Cancer Society. 1. Set a quit date. You don’t have to quite immediately. If you know it’s more realistic for you to kick the habit after a big event or deadline, make that your quit date. 2. Tell your doctor the date. You’ll have built-in support. 3. Make smoking inconvenient. Don’t have anything you need to smoke on hand, like ash trays, lighters or matches. 4. Breathe deeply when you crave a cigarette. Hold your breath for 10 seconds, and then exhale slowly. 5. Spend time in places where you can’t smoke because it’s banned, such as a library, theater or museum. 6. Hang out with friends who are also working on kicking the habit. Go to places that don’t allow smoking. 7. Reach for low-calorie, good-for-you foods instead of smoking. Choose fresh fruit and crisp, crunchy vegetables. 8. Exercise to ease your stress instead of lighting up. 9. Go decaf. Pass up coffee, soft drinks that have caffeine, and alcohol, as they all can increase the urge to smoke. 10. Keep your hands too busy for cigarettes. Draw, text, type or knit, for examples. 11. Hack your habits. If you always had a cigarette on your work break, take a walk, talk to a friend or do something else instead. 12. Wrap a cigarette in a sheet of paper and put a rubber band around it. It will be harder to get one. You’ll have time to notice what you’re doing and stop. 13. Let your family and friends know you’re quitting smoking. Ask for their support. If they smoke, tell them not to do so around you. If they do, leave. 14. Be good to yourself. Do things that you enjoy. You’ll notice that you don’t need a cigarette to have fun. Quit Now Kentucky is a free telephone or online service that helps Kentuckians quit smoking and using tobacco products. Those who want to stop using tobacco within the next 30 days or are concerned about a family member or friend’s tobacco use can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Sunday. If contemplating quitting, log on to www.QuitNowKentucky.org for resources to help you get ready to quit. All cessation services are bilingual.

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