21 Responses

  1. Allison Blass
    Allison Blass April 18, 2008 at 7:47 am | | Reply

    I’ve actually had almost all my doctors ask me if I’ve smoked. It’s usually on those health intake forms at doctors offices asking if you smoke and/or drink. I’ve always indicated “sometimes” although when I was in college it was a lot more than sometimes.

    Despite the fact that my mother and uncle were hardcore pack-a-day smokers, I’ve never physically been addicted. A pack can last me over a week. After awhile they make me sick. Cigarettes are not only bad for you, they are also insanely expensive, and NY just issued a new cigarette tax. Considering I’m not addicted and a diabetic, there’s no reason for me to keep buying those little buggers.

    I don’t really have any tips on quitting, because stopping is something I can do very easily. “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell has a great explanation – cigarettes are contagious for a lot of people. That is, a lot of people try them (like me), but they are only sticky (addictive) in a percentage of those people. The other percentage either has a very strong physical revulsion to cigarettes and stop immediately, while others might continue to smoke but eventually stop because their body just never develops that physical addiction. But like your article explains, some people have a genetic predisposition to being addicted and makes it hard, or impossible, to quit. It was very interesting.

  2. Dina
    Dina April 18, 2008 at 8:09 am | | Reply

    I quit smoking 5 years ago and it was the HARDEST thing I have ever done. It is as addictive as they say it is. It took several frustrating attempts. Just keep trying.

    I used a couple of boxes of nicotine gum to help me get out of the day to day habit, but I did not go through the entire step down program – my jaw got tired out from all that gum chewing!

    I will say this – I am a less patient, calm, even-keeled person as a non smoker. Nicotine helps to keep a cap on your feeling. I am more of the person I was always meant to be, and that person has a short fuse!

    I am trying to acquire better coping skills from scratch!

  3. Scott
    Scott April 18, 2008 at 8:51 am | | Reply

    Actually, You may be dating yourself even further (aside from the cloves reference … LOL!) when you say you were shocked a “few years ago to discover how many young people were puffing away in New York, inside stuffy clubs”.

    New York City bans smoking in all workplaces, including bars, small restaurants, bingo parlors and other venues not covered by the city’s previous smoking law, and that law has been in effect since July 2003, so it had to be at least 5 years ago …

  4. AmyT
    AmyT April 18, 2008 at 8:55 am | | Reply

    Actually Scott, you’re right. Time just slips away, no?
    :) Amy

  5. Sara from Team Sweetpea
    Sara from Team Sweetpea April 18, 2008 at 9:03 am | | Reply

    Amy, I’m really glad you wrote about this. I don’t think many people are aware of the devastating effects that tobacco can have on people with diabetes.
    I too enjoyed the occasional cig in my younger days, until my eye doctor explained to me that using tobacco constricts the blood vessels in your eyes, and that greatly increases the risk of developing complications early on. After hearing some of the stories he had to tell I’m glad I never picked up the habit!

  6. Michelle
    Michelle April 18, 2008 at 9:26 am | | Reply

    even though I don’t have diabetes myself, I WAS a smoker and smoked near 2 packs a day. Yep, I was never without a nice butt in my mouth (somehow that doesn’t sound right) but anyway, it was hard, but for me it was mind over matter. I just had to tell myself this was it, I was doing it and that was the end of the story. It will be 8 years next month. May 2000. considering that Ian (my little one with diabetes) was born in August of 2000 you all can do the math. Yes, not only did I stick those nasties in my mouth I did it while pregnant.


    If I could, I would go back to the 13 year old me and tell her how that terribly cool puff of newport menthols that she liked to do in the school bathroom would hook her in and consume the better part of 20 years and instead of being cool it would be sad, pathetic, dirty, nasty, smelly, expensive, not to mention so very very bad for my health. And the health of everyone around me. That’s probably the most devastating and demoralizing thing to think – that I polluted my children.

    To anyone, and mostly to the younger kids, you can quit. Today. Just choose to never pick up another cigarette. Go ahead, tell yourself that you’re done. And walk away.

  7. Reen
    Reen April 18, 2008 at 9:36 am | | Reply

    I just found this site today, and this topic of quitting smoking, being diabetic caught me! I have been T1 since age 18 in 1979 and smoking since age 13..I was up to 2 packs a year ago, but have cut back to 1 pack a day since last May, which in itself is “great” for me. I DO want to quit this year, without meds or nicotine “crutches”– I know it will be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do! I will try to use my “diabetes” willpower control to fight the tobacco, and lots of faith in God to pull me thru, when I decide to start quitting for real…I have diabetic retinopathy- 5 laser treatments so far–and neuoropathies, so am hoping quitting helps my complications remain stable/improve in this too!
    Thanks for letting me post my “pending wish” to tackle this fight!

  8. jeremiah
    jeremiah April 18, 2008 at 10:11 am | | Reply

    i smoked from like 16 or 17 right up until i was in 26 from being dx with diabetes, my wife and kids had been urging me to quit for a while this wasthe extra push i needed i guess, cold turkey no gum nothing, i just had to have that mind frame that this stuff will literally kill me now.

  9. chris
    chris April 18, 2008 at 10:36 am | | Reply

    I’m a 28 yo type 1 since the age of 13. I smoked a little bit at age 13-14. Picked it up as a habit at 18. Cut the habit, but continued as a social smoker at 22 and slowly it dwindled to nothing 8 months ago.

    At 14, my endo asked about it, and didn’t see, to mind when I said I had 1 or 2 cigs a week.

    When I was smoking regularly in college (pack a day), I generally wasn’t going to the doctor very much. I also drank a bunch, did some other kinds of unhealthy things and ignored my diabetes. One time I did visit an endo and he prescribed Zyban –which I never filled.

    I had tried to quit several times with moderate success, but it never stuck. Around the age of 22 I started rolling my own cigs (much cheaper) and that was effective in making it a little less convenient to smoke. Eventually, I was able to just keep reducing how much I smoked more and more. First it was one or two a day, with more on weekends. Then it was just on weekends when i went out. Then it was just one or two on those weekends out. Then it was every other weekend.

    That lasted for several years. At some point last august, i hadn’t had a cigarette for about a month and I hadn’t been missing it, so i thought why not avoid them altogether now. The first few times i went out were hard, but now its no problem. Having almost all bars in maryland/baltimore non-smoking definitely helps.
    Around the age of 22, i also started paying more attention to my diabetes. At that point i was seeing endo’s semi regularly. Some asked me about smoking and seemed more or less ok with it since I wasn’t smoking a lot. They would tell me its best to not do it at all, but I can’t recall ever being “scolded”.

  10. Terry Keelan
    Terry Keelan April 18, 2008 at 10:43 am | | Reply

    My doctors always asked me if I smoked and were horrified – horrified – to learn that I did. It took me two (2) years after my diagnosis to finally quit.

    I quit smoking three and a half (3.5) years ago and although it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, it was still easier than I thought it would be. I smoked for 32 years, 2/3 of my life by the time I quit.

    I owe much of the credit to a great support site that uses the cold turkey method (and provides LOTS of useful information on how to cope – not only with quitting but with life). It’s an MSN group and if I can be permitted a plug, you can find it at

    I have both sympathy and sadness for current smokers. I understand the depth of their addiction – have not doubt about it, nicotine is highly addictive – and I know what risks they face.

    I celebrate my quit smoking date every year and have a network of ex-smoker friends I gained from the on-line support group. Being an ex-smoker is as much a part of me as being diabetic.


  11. Lee
    Lee April 18, 2008 at 12:52 pm | | Reply

    Hi, I smoked for a good number of years. In that time I may have “decided” to quit twice. I never believed I was addicted to it (though many people often told me that I most likely was), and always believed I would be able to quit whenever I wanted to. I enjoyed it – especially the “social” aspect of it – the smoking breaks and chats at work etc. That has all changed now in my country too. When I was diagnosed my Endo did ask me if I smoked, which I answered honestly. He advised me to quit, but in quite a stern way said “You must quit now”. I continued to smoke for maybe a week after that – with the full intention of quiting very soon. When I finished the pack I had I just never bought another. Just like that. It can be done! (And I think I realised then, that I was right… I wasn’t addicted. Either that, or my willpower was just really very strong :) )

  12. June S.
    June S. April 18, 2008 at 2:32 pm | | Reply

    I have read somewhere (but don’t ask me where, now, because I don’t remember!) that smoking can CAUSE diabetes.

    I have never even had a cigarette (unlit) up to my mouth in my entire 51 years, but I know people who have and still do smoke. Scientists are proving that it is an addiction that is much harder for some people to stop than others. I’ve read that nicotine simultaneously calms and stimulates a person, unlike any other substance.

    I’ve met people with emphysema and lung cancer, AND people with congestive heart failure due to smoking. I wish cigarettes would just stop being produced. (That will be the day!!!)

  13. Suzy Smith
    Suzy Smith April 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm | | Reply

    I smoked for 17 years, I quit 19 months ago. Wellbutrin and a husband who has supported me every step of the way is the only way I was able to stop. Since I put the cigarettes and lighter down that night, I haven’t even touched one.

  14. Jeff
    Jeff April 18, 2008 at 6:36 pm | | Reply

    My first endo had a sign in his waiting room since the mid-eighties: “KNOW SMOKING.”

  15. AmyT
    AmyT April 18, 2008 at 8:45 pm | | Reply

    To June: Don’t you know? Everything can cause diabetes — even breathing. Whatever. Too late for all of us here :)

  16. tmana
    tmana April 18, 2008 at 8:51 pm | | Reply

    My dad used to chain-smoke when I was a toddler. He’d start smoking; I’d start coughing. He never made the connection. Dad’s mom and Mom’s dad also used to smoke. I don’t remember when Grandma gave it up, but I think it was before Dad did (he finally quit for good when I was six or seven). Grandpa smoked almost to the day he died.

    While smoking seemed “cool” when we were little, because of the ads, my reaction to second-hand smoke gave me every DISincentive to try it.

  17. Kelly K
    Kelly K April 19, 2008 at 6:50 am | | Reply

    Smoking is something I was never into – Thank God! All my friends in high school smoked, I was the only one who didn’t. I do remember trying clove cigerettes in High School. The taste didn’t really bother me, but what they represented did.
    My small town GP had a picture of a healthy lung (pink like watermelon) and a cancerous lung(picture a charcoal brickette) on his wall – at child’s eye level. The first time I ever saw it I was four and was getting stitches. I asked him about it and he explained it in all it’s gory detail. After that, I never wanted to smoke and pestered my parents to quit! Which, they did…eventually.

  18. geekgirl
    geekgirl April 19, 2008 at 11:18 pm | | Reply

    My regular doctor doesn’t ask me if I smoke or not (which tells me she reads my chart before seeing me, ha), but I get asked at the doctor’s office quite a bit. Even my dentist asked me.

    I just want to say Kudos to the people who have quit smoking and give encouragement to anyone who is working on quitting now. It’s a huge challenge and I applaud you. Even cutting back can help! But I do believe that you can all do it, and you and your heath is worth it. :-)

  19. Leah
    Leah April 21, 2008 at 11:57 am | | Reply

    To quote from Diabetes for Dummies page 91 ‘Stop Smoking: If you smoke, you are asking for an amputation.

    Enough said for me.

  20. Lauren
    Lauren April 21, 2008 at 10:14 pm | | Reply

    Having a diet high in animal fats is as bad as smoking if not worse. If you eat cheeseburgers you’re asking for trouble just as much as if you smoke. There are plenty of nonsmokers, diabetic and non-diabetic, who have horrific cardiovascular events due to their unhealthy diets. It bothers me that smoking is perpetually demonized, especially here in California, while other rampantly self-destructive habits are ignored. (I don’t smoke, by the way, but I think smoking is far less destructive to human health and the health of the planet than eating meat.)

  21. Stop Smoking
    Stop Smoking November 23, 2008 at 12:44 pm | | Reply

    Here is an interesting article from Harvard’s website:

    Smokers should be screened for type 2 diabetes and encouraged to quit smoking to prevent it, two Boston researchers recommend based on a new review of studies linking smoking and diabetes.

    Already the leading cause of preventable death around the world, smoking has now been tied to a 44 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, Swiss researchers report in a review of 25 studies of 1.2 million people, published in tomorrow’s ‘Journal of the American Medical Association’.

    Two Harvard researchers, writing in an editorial that also appears in the journal, call on physicians to test smokers for diabetes and encourage them to quit smoking.

    Current US Preventive Services Task Force guidelines suggest screening adults with high blood pressure and high cholesterol while the American Diabetes Association recommends testing adults 45 and older every three years.

    “Given the increased incidence of type 2 diabetes associated with smoking, it is likely important and prudent for clinicians also to screen for and carefully monitor glucose levels among current and former smokers,” write Eric L. Ding and Dr. Frank B. Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School.

    “Major population prevention of type 2 diabetes is achievable by avoidance of smoking and modification of lifestyle factors through a combination of healthy weight control, regular physical activity, moderate alcohol intake, and proper diet.”

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