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We have a son who is 19 years, who was diagnosed with Type 1 (IDDM) about 2 years ago. He was an occasional smoker, and dropped it for a time. Now he has started smoking again, and we are very distressed about and are convinced this is a serious problem. We need information to convince him to deal with this. Could you inform me about the consequences of smoking to a type I diabetic? Any suggestions for solving this problem also would be appreciated.

This may require two different answers to the same question:

  1. This response is written to the kids and teens who surf the net.
    Parents read it at their own risk!
  2. Yeeech! No matter what a kid decides to do, parents will find something to complain about.

    Sure, smoking is bad for everyone: see the Tobacco Control Archives for the full scoop (""). These internal papers from a tobacco company shows their efforts to develop "strategies to avoid products liability legislation, understand nicotine addiction, and manipulate both internal and external scientific research on the effects of both active and passive smoking."

    Certainly, smoking is even more harmful for people with diabetes: it aggrevates the development of heart disease, and can cause premature narrowing of the little blood vessels throughout the body. And it causes stinking breath.

    But if any parent ever thinks they'll persuade a 19 year-old male to quit smoking by using medical scare stories, they're just plain wrong.

    Perhaps praising and rewarding positive behavior (like controlling blood sugar, getting good grades, and not drinking or using) would be a better way for parents to deal with their kids.

  3. This response is written to the parents.
    Kids and teens read it at their own risk!
  4. Discussions with stubborn teenagers about quitting smoking will probably only reinforce the negative behavior. Sure, smoking is bad. But we'd rather that you give him gobs of praise for the other things he's doing that he's doing right, and count to 100 before launching into a tirade about how smoking can kill him!

Original posting 30 Dec 95


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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