Smoking and diabetes: A deadly combination

Canadians living with diabetes have the most to gain by quitting

TORONTO, Jan. 18 /CNW/ - The Canadian Diabetes Association encourages all Canadians living with diabetes who smoke to take action to quit smoking in the next seven days, during National Non-Smoking Week.

"There's never a better time to quit than right now," said Gordon Shipley, who has lived with type 2 diabetes for 10 years and celebrated 2 years smoke-free this January after smoking for more than 35 years. "I know it's hard to quit, but it is possible. And with all the treatments and support available today, it's easier than ever to quit."

Canadians living with diabetes who smoke are three times more likely to have a heart attack than people with diabetes who don't smoke.(1) The chemicals in cigarette smoke attack blood vessels, accelerating atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and impairing the blood's ability to carry oxygen to the tissues.

The deadly combination of high blood glucose and smoking dramatically increase damage to the blood vessels that feed the heart, brain, eyes, kidneys and peripheral nerves, speeding up the long-term complications of diabetes.

"I recommend talking to someone who understands the ramifications of smoking and the various treatments available," Shipley encourages. "In addition to the patch and medications, one helpful step for me was to change my usual patterns - for example, instead of starting my morning with a coffee and cigarette, I went for a walk in my neighbourhood."

For more information, tips and resources to help you quit, visit

Across the country, the Canadian Diabetes Association is leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. We are supported in our efforts by a community-based network of volunteers, employees, healthcare professionals, researchers and partners. By providing education and services, advocating on behalf of people with diabetes, supporting research and translating research into practical applications - we are delivering on our mission. For more information, please visit or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

    (1) Canadian Diabetes Association, accessed January 15, 2010

SOURCE Canadian Diabetes Association

For further information: For further information: Jeremy Brace, Canadian Diabetes Association, (416) 671-2155,

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