People with diabetes who smoke are not receiving the right level of support needed to help them quit smoking.
Findings from the latest annual survey by Diabetes UK revealed that less than half (45%) of diabetes patients who smoke were offered support and advice from healthcare professionals on giving up cigarettes over the previous 12 months.
Only 166 out of 1,643 people who admitted to smoking completed the survey, but the charity said this was enough to support anecdotal evidence.
Smoking is extremely damaging to your health, regardless of whether or not you have diabetes. It not only raises the risk of developing heart disease and stroke, but is also a major risk factor for various cancers (most notably lung cancer) and eye conditions such as macular degeneratio, and also ups the risk of type 2 diabetes.
“But because diabetes puts a strain on the circulatory system and smoking adds to that strain, smoking is even worse for you if you have the condition,” explained Diabetes UK chief executive Barbara Young.
“Given this, it is important that healthcare professionals make sure the annual conversation they have with people with diabetes about smoking as part of their care planning review is the start of a process of supporting smokers to give up.
“Providing information about, and access to, the different ways to help people give up smoking is an important part of improving support for people with diabetes.”
Backing the charity’s effort to improve GP support for diabetic smokers, Professor Kevin Fento, national director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, said: “Public Health England supports all efforts to increase advice, support and education to those who wish to stop smoking.
“For those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, regular health checks and, where appropriate, referral to smoking cessation services, are a vital part of improving health and wellbeing.”

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