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Want to avoid diabetes? Stop smoking!

Updated: Feb 11


By now, it’s safe to say the general public is educated about the dangers of smoking. We all know it’s hazardous to our health. We also understand that secondhand smoke carries lots of risks. And there’s no doubt that smoking can cause cancer.


Did you know smoking can also lead to type 2 diabetes?


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that not only are smokers at greater risk of developing diabetes, but that risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked each day. Even worse, insulin is less effective when exposed to high levels of nicotine, so smokers who already have diabetes are compromising their lifesaving medication.


If you’re one of the 68% of smokers who say they want to quit, there is good news!

When you quit smoking, the health benefits start right away! The U.S. Surgeon General recently released the first report since 1990 that focuses on the benefits of quitting.* Take a look at this graphic from the report to learn more.


If you’re one of the approximately 34 million American adults who smoke, the ParTNers Center can help you quit. Here’s how:


A kick start

When you ask for help at your next appointment, we’ll give you the first month of certain cessation aids, like nicotine replacement gum or patches. We can also provide a prescription for up to two 12-week courses of cessation aids that we don't carry in the Center but which are covered by your health plan at no cost to you.


Examples of aids include: bupropion (generic for medicines like Zyban and Wellbutrin), varenicline (generic for Chantix), and over-the-counter generic nicotine replacement products like patches, lozenges and gum, as well as Nicotrol oral or nasal inhalers. To be covered at no cost, all products, even those that are available over the counter, require a prescription.


Additional help

Nicotine replacement is just a first step. You also have access to:

  • Diabetes diagnosis and medication management with ParTNers Center nurse practitioners

  • ParTNers Center onsite wellness coaching to help you stay on track with quitting, make lifestyle changes and/or better manage your diabetes (you can earn wellness incentives)

  • The ParTNers Center’s Diabetes Prevention Program, held onsite twice a year

  • Online diabetes prevention programs through BCBST or Cigna

  • Group quit smoking programs through ActiveHealth

Quick links:

What you need to know about quitting smoking: Advice from the surgeon general

Benefits coverage of smoking cessation aids

2020 Wellness Program incentives table


* Note: The report emphasizes that vaping or e-cigarette use is not a healthy alternative to smoking.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/50th-anniversary/pdfs/fs_smoking_diabetes_508.pdf