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How Smoking Effects Diabetics

Smoking can cause many health problems, but do you know it can lead to diabetes as well? 

Sushmita Sharma
Written by: Sushmita SharmaUpdated at: Dec 29, 2022 13:10 IST
How Smoking Effects Diabetics

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Smoking is one of the causes of type 2 diabetes, and if you already have one, it could make your condition even worse. Smoking and diabetes increase the risk of heart disease and, when combined, can result in causing severe health issues like a heart attack or a stroke. Smoking can raise blood sugar levels and cause heart and blood vessel damage. You are at risk of developing more diseases like eye problems, kidney diseases, and nerve damage if you have diabetes and engage in smoking. Read this article to understand what our expert Dr. DN Joshi, General Physician, says about the link between smoking and diabetes.

Link Between Smoking And Diabetes

Dr. Joshi explained that the nicotine present in cigarettes raises your blood sugar levels. Insulin which is responsible for helping blood sugar enter cells, is affected due to nicotine, which increases your blood sugar levels. Smokers with diabetes frequently require higher insulin doses to maintain blood sugar levels. High sugar levels in your blood can damage your blood vessels and nerves around your heart. 

Dr. Joshi further added that the chemicals in cigarettes are harmful to your body's cells and can cause inflammation, eventually making cells stop responding to insulin. In addition, smoking can increase your belly fat and thus increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. 

Also Read: Chocolates: How Much Is It Safe For People With Diabetes

How Can Quitting Smoking Help

Quitting smoking can not only help you with diabetes but can also improve your overall health condition. Getting rid of smoking is not always easy, especially when it has been a long-standing habit. When you quit smoking, your body can manage your blood sugar levels efficiently as it makes your body use insulin better. It also enhances your respiratory system and lowers the risk of heart disease.

Don't give up if you are unable to quit smoking initially. You can seek help from your friends and family to support, motivate and keep a check on you. Consult your doctor for advice and discuss the preventative measures. 

Some Other Harmful Effects Of Smoking

1. Smoking can lead to respiratory issues like asthma and raise the risk of developing lung cancer.

2. Smoking can cause poor vision and increase the risk of developing glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.

3. Women who smoke may witness early menopause.

4. Smoking can weaken your immune system and increase your chances of bacterial and viral infections.

5. It can reduce your life's quality and life expectancy.

6. It can also lead to dental problems like gum diseases, tooth sensitivity, and tooth loss.

7. It impacts your hearing by reducing the blood flow to your ear.

8. It causes fertility problems and affects your sperm quality.

Also Read: How Can Smoking Significantly Worsen These 5 Health Conditions


It is necessary to quit smoking to prevent the risk of diabetes or it can make your condition worse. It is addictive and might not be easy initially, but don't be hard on yourself. Your body can begin to heal faster if you quit as soon as possible. Consult your doctor if you face any complications or your condition worsens.