Did you know?
Smokeless tobacco contains a lot of sugar. This can make it harder to control your glucose levels.
Not ready to quit? Consider taking a break

If quitting tobacco seems like too much right now, consider taking a break or a vacation from tobacco use.

This can help you feel better by restoring balance*.

  • Set a goal to stop using tobacco.
  • Talk with your doctor for resources or ways to cope with withdrawal symptoms.

If this goes well, maybe you will take more breaks during the year. This could lead to a tobacco-free life!

*Follow your doctor’s directions for medicine, exercise, diet and other activities.

Quit tobacco use

Using tobacco makes diabetes harder to control. People who do not use tobacco use less insulin and other medicine to keep diabetes under control.

How tobacco affects you

Tobacco:

  • damages and narrows blood vessels
    • This can lead to infections and amputations.
  • increases insulin resistance
    • This can raise your blood glucose.
  • increases blood pressure
    • This can lead to stroke or heart disease.
  • makes your blood vessels and arteries "sticky," which can block blood flow
    • This raises your risks for heart disease, kidney disease, retinopathy (eye disease that causes blindness) and nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy).

E-cigarettes: what you need to know

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes or e-cigs), JUUL®, hookah pens, vapes, vaporizers, vape pens, e-hookah, e-pens, e-pipes and e-cigars are all known as electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS).

E-cigarettes have become very popular very quickly. This means there has not been time to get results from long-term studies on the safety or health effects of e-cigarettes.

  • A 2018 public health research report supported by the FDA confirms that using ENDS products is harmful. Use causes health and safety problems and greatly increases tobacco addiction among adolescents.
  • The name of the report is "Public Health Consequences of E-cigarettes" by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, Medicine (NASEM).
  • The FDA has not approved e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking. According to the 2018 NASEM report, there is "limited" evidence that e-cigarettes help some people to quit smoking. Many people return to smoking, continue to use the e-cigarette, or use both. None of these options are healthful.

Benefits of quitting

  • Your body responds quickly to quitting:
    • 8 hours: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. The oxygen level in your blood increases to normal.
    • 24 hours: Your chance of heart attack decreases.
    • 48 hours: Nerve endings start to grow again.
    • 2 weeks: Circulation to your hands and feet improve. Your ability to exercise improves. According to the American Lung Association, your lung function may increase up to 30 percent.
  • There are many health benefits to quitting. Quitting:
    • lowers your chances of stroke, heart disease, insulin-resistance and nerve damage
    • gives you better glucose control
    • lowers your risks of many types of cancers

Suggestions for quitting tobacco

Studies show that the most successful way to quit uses counseling, medicines and follow-up. Ask your health care provider for more information.

  • Prepare to stop.
    • Get support from family and friends.
    • Avoid places where you know you will want to use tobacco.
    • Plan activities to replace using tobacco.
  • Choose a day to stop.
    • Get rid of cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters.
  • Stop.
    • Stop on the day you planned to stop.
    • Be careful with situations or activities in which you might be tempted to start start using tobacco again.
    • Try to keep your focus on today, not the future. Tell yourself, "I am not smoking today."
  • Stay stopped.
    • Think positive thoughts. Remember why you decided to stop. Reward yourself.
    • Remember that your craving will pass whether you smoke or not.
    • Do not play games like telling yourself, "One cigarette won't hurt," "I deserve a dip or chew," "I just want to see how a cigarette tastes." Your brain might tell you these things to persuade you to go back to tobacco.

Resources for quitting

  • Tobacco Intervention Program at Abbott Northwestern Hospital 
    612-863-1648
  • Tobacco Intervention Program at Mercy Hospital  
    763-236-8008
  • Tobacco Intervention Program at River Falls Area Hospital:  
    715-307-6075
  • *Allina Health United Lung and Sleep Clinic Tobacco Cessation Program
    651-726-6200
  • *Penny George™ Institute for Health and Healing (LiveWell Center) tobacco intervention coaching   
    612-863-5178

*There may be a cost to you. Check with your insurance provider.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Prediabetes: Reducing Type 2 Diabetes Risk Through a Lifestyle of Good Nutrition and Activity, first edition, dia-ah-94403
Reviewed By: Allina Health Patient Education
First Published: 04/02/2009
Last Reviewed: 01/28/2019