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#6 Stop Smoking – Tobacco and Neuropathy


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A Healing Lifestyle – Tobacco and Neuropathy

Quitting smoking can help individuals with neuropathy improve circulation, reduce nerve damage, and alleviate other symptoms associated with the condition. Those struggling with neuropathy know all too well the familiarity of daily medications a busy schedule of visits to the doctor, physiotherapist, or other medical professionals, and so we understand that sometimes it is hard to step back and look at how our lifestyle is affecting our overall health and neuropathy.

While most of us, smokers and non-smokers alike, have an understanding that tobacco has adverse consequences on our health, we may have never had the chance to consider how this affects our neuropathic issues. Well, here we provide insight into how smoking may affect those with neuropathy and provide more reason to kick those tobacco sticks to dust.

As you are likely aware, neuropathy is caused by damage to the nerves. The damaged nerves prevent proper communication between the brain and nervous system resulting in common neuropathic symptoms such as pain and numbness. Since these nerves have been damaged, you’ll want to do everything in your power to promote the best possible conditions for your nerves and surrounding areas, as well as avoid risk of damaging them further.

In the case of a damaged nerve it’s imperative the nerve tissues obtain significant amounts of nutrients and oxygen via blood flow, so they can work towards their optimum health, and possible healing. Smoking is problematic – it constricts blood vessels, making them smaller, resulting in less blood and nutrients being delivered to the peripheral nerves. This restricted blood flow prevents healing in these areas and can even worsen the symptoms. No one wants to worsen their peripheral neuropathy.

Need more reasons to quit?

Here are three other important links between neuropathy and smoking:

  • Smoking negatively effects blood sugar levels, so those with diabetic neuropathy can aggravate both conditions by smoking.
  • Nicotine has been found to increase pain perception, making symptoms of neuropathy worse.
  • Research shows those with a family history of peripheral neuropathy can avoid onset by avoiding or quitting smoking.

If you’re a smoker, you might find yourself contemplating how to embark on the journey of quitting. It’s a decision that requires serious commitment, but one that can profoundly enhance your health and well-being. Taking the first step towards quitting smoking is pivotal, and a crucial aspect of this is engaging with your healthcare provider. Speaking with your doctor allows you to develop a personalized plan tailored to your needs and circumstances. They can provide invaluable guidance, support, and resources to help you navigate through the challenges of quitting.

Quitting smoking isn’t a simple task; it requires determination, resilience, and a willingness to confront the addiction head-on. However, you’re not alone in this journey. There exists a multitude of resources and support systems designed to aid individuals in their quest to quit smoking. From counseling services to nicotine replacement therapies, there are various tools and strategies available to assist you in overcoming the habit.

It’s important to recognize that quitting smoking is a process, and setbacks may occur along the way. What’s crucial is maintaining a positive mindset and staying committed to your goal of living a smoke-free life. Remember, every step you take towards quitting is a step towards a healthier, happier future.

So, if you’re ready to take the plunge and bid farewell to smoking, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor and start crafting your personalized quitting plan. With determination, support, and the right resources, you can conquer the challenges of quitting smoking and embark on a journey towards improved health and well-being.

Know you have the power to make lifestyle changes necessary to help your neuropathy symptoms.

Related CNA Resources

We can't do it alone.

Food for thought...


  • Health, A. (2018). Smoking and Peripheral Neuropathy – Arrowhead Health Centers. [online] Arrowhead Health Centers. Available at: https://arrowheadhealth.com/smoking-and-peripheral-neuropathy/ [Accessed 18 Oct. 2018].
  • Ninds.nih.gov. (2018). Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. [online] Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Peripheral-Neuropathy-Fact-Sheet [Accessed 18 Oct. 2018].
  • Healthline. (2018). Peripheral Neuropathy: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/peripheral-neuropathy [Accessed 18 Oct. 2018].
  • Albertaquits.ca. (2018). Quit Smoking Success Stories | AlbertaQuits. [online] Available at: https://www.albertaquits.ca/my-community/shared-stories [Accessed 18 Oct. 2018].
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