Diabetes prevention: Quit smoking

Smokers are 30% to 40% more likely than non-smokers to develop diabetes. Add to this startling statistic that smoking also increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer.

Spending some time preparing to quit will help increase your chances of successfully quitting. Focus on the following 5 steps when you're preparing to quit smoking:

  • Know your smoking cues.
    • Make a list of the times and situations you smoke, including the times you most want to smoke.
    • List your smoking cues – after your morning coffee, while talking on the phone, after a good meal – and choose alternate coping strategies.
  • Make changes in your environment.
    • Get rid of things that support your habit – like ashtrays and lighters.
    • Change your daily routes and routines to avoid smoking cues (examples: skip morning coffee, avoid alcohol, eat lunch in a different spot, and change your commute).
  • Gather your support team
    • Talk to your family doctor about your options, including medications, to help you quit smoking.
    • Tell other people about your intentions as a way to increase your accountability to your goal.
    • Make a list of support people to help you through rough spots.
  • Pick a quit date.
    • Look ahead on the calendar and schedule your quit date during a time of relative stability.
    • Avoid dates that coincide with situations like starting a new job or going on a holiday trip.
  • Think through barriers.
    • List craving strategies (e.g., drinking water, getting a back rub, sucking on a cinnamon stick, going for a walk).
    • Add extra physical activity to your day and pay attention to your eating habits to help maintain weight.

Most smokers take several tries to successfully quit. With each attempt, you learn about what works for you – and what doesn't work. Incorporate what you learn into your next attempt. It's a process some refer to as "turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones."

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