Metabolic Health
Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Cigarette Smoking: A Risk Factor For Diabetes

Lately, smoking has become extremely commonplace. Whether it is young adults, or older people, wherever you go you can find a cigarette in their hands. Smoking has a lot of adverse effects on one’s health. Apart from all the lung damage, it plays a major role in causing numerous other health problems like diabetes, obesity, liver problems etc.

Diabetes and smoking are closely related. If you are a smoker, the chances of you getting type 2 diabetes are very high. As compared to non-smokers, smokers have a 30%-40% higher chance of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes and smoking make it very hard to control blood sugar and can make other health conditions go from bad to worse. 

People that have diabetes need to increase their insulin intake if they are constantly smoking. Diabetes and smoking also tends to speed up damage to other internal organs as both of those cause damage to blood vessels. The nicotine in cigarettes is especially harmful for people already living with diabetes and increases the risk of developing diabetes in people who are at risk. 

Does Smoking Affect The Risk Of Diabetes?

Smoking significantly increases the risk of diabetes among people that might already be prone to it. Diabetes and smoking should never be paired as the chemical nicotine which is an active ingredient in cigarettes causes irreparable damage to the body and raises blood sugar as well. 

  • Diabetes and smoking together cause insulin resistance in the body. Nicotine impairs your cells' ability to react to insulin. This is the hormone that assists your body in using the sugar in your blood. This will cause your blood sugar levels to rise. 
  • Nicotine causes damage to the cells resulting in inflammation. This is when your body attempts to cure itself. This kind of nerve damage makes it more difficult for your body to utilize insulin correctly. 
  • Smoking causes belly fat to increase. It has been noted that people who smoke tend to gain weight around their midsection more than the people who don’t smoke. This will cause further insulin resistance and increase the chances of type 2 diabetes. 
  • Smoking also has a severe impact on cholesterol levels. Your "bad" LDL cholesterol level may rise. Simultaneously, your "good" HDL cholesterol falls. Smoking boosts your triglycerides as well. These are the fats contained in your blood. Type 2 diabetes is linked to high cholesterol and triglycerides.

The chances of other health complications arising in people with diabetes that smoke are very high. The nicotine present in cigarettes makes blood sugar regulation even more difficult. If a person with diabetes uses insulin, they may need to ingest it more often than someone who does not smoke. Smoking combined with uncontrolled diabetes may hasten the deterioration of your whole body. This is due to damage to your large and small blood vessels. As compared to people with diabetes who do not smoke, smokers with diabetes can encounter the following health complications.

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Issues With The Eyes
  • Stroke
  • Failure Of The Kidneys
  • Damage To The Nerves (Neuropathy)
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Irregularities In Sleep Schedule

Have you wondered does smoking causes diabetes? While smoking does not directly cause diabetes, it leads to all the other ways of a healthy person developing diabetes. 

Tips To Quit Smoking

Smoking is a habit that is harmful for each and every person. It causes lung damage, nerve damage, increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease, severely damages kidneys and causes a plethora of health ailments. Does smoking increase blood sugar? Yes, it is another reason why people with diabetes should not smoking as 

Quitting smoking goes a long way in maintaining your health. It not only benefits you but the people around you as well. Here are a few tips that will help you to make an effort and quit smoking. 

1. Get Motivated 

Quitting smoking requires a lot of willpower and determination. Before you completely go off cigarettes, you have to find a personal reason why you want to quit. It could be anything as long as it is keeping you motivated to stay off cigarettes. 

2. Prepare Yourself 

Don’t completely go cold turkey in a day. Take your time, make a plan and gradually reduce your intake. Prepare yourself for how your body will react when you stop smoking and take necessary steps to ensure the transition happens smoothly. 

3. Consider Alternatives

There are various alternatives you can turn to when you quit smoking. You can opt for chewing gums, nicotine replacement therapy, nicotine patches, counseling, etc. carefully consider all your options and then start your process. 

4. Go To A Doctor

Sometimes, getting professional help is necessary and a qualified doctor can help with your journey of quitting smoking. They may ask you to take prescription pills and medication which will in turn help you stay off cigarettes. Does smoking increase blood sugar? Yes, the doctor can help treat this as well. 

5. Get Support From Loved Ones

Quitting smoking is an emotional and mental task just as much as it is a physical one. Surrounding yourself with your loved ones and accepting their help in this journey will go a long way in making you quit smoking. 

6. Take A Break

Sometimes smoking is caused by some stressors. It could be work or it could be your personal life, whichever the case may be. It is a good idea to take a break and go for a vacation. This will help your mind and body to relax and you won’t feel like smoking as much as you normally do. 

7. Avoid Smoking Triggers

If you’re thinking of quitting smoking it is essential that you avoid all triggers that cause it. Don’t visit places where people are smoking and avoid consuming alcohol as well. Surround yourself with sober people or ask your friends to smoke after you’ve left.

8. Reward Yourself

Whenever you achieve small milestones in your quitting journey, reward yourself with small things. This will keep you motivated to stay off cigarettes and you will get a sense of achievement as well. 

9. Don’t Give Up

Quitting smoking is not easy, there are bound to be days when you slip up and end up giving in to your craving. Whenever this happens, don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, just start over from the next day and you will be fine. Remember, you’re only human and it’s okay to make mistakes as long as you get back on track. 

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Smoking has several negative health consequences. Smoking dramatically raises the risk of diabetes in persons who are predisposed to it. Diabetes and smoking make it difficult to regulate blood sugar levels and may exacerbate other health problems. When paired with untreated diabetes, smoking may expedite the degradation of your whole body. Although smoking may not directly cause diabetes, it does contribute to the development of diabetes in otherwise healthy people. If you’re wondering if quitting smoking can reverse diabetes, it's not the case but it will make managing it easier. 



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