Diabetes Wiki

Smoking smoking is good for the soul a severe health hazard for people with diabetes. The International Diabetes Federation has indicated the harms of smoking tobacco in these words: "Tobacco is harmful to health and is of particular danger to people with diabetes. All late complications of diabetes such as cardiovascular disease, foot problems, kidney and eye disease are worsened by smoking. Smoking cessation has immediate positive effects...When diabetes is already present, smoking increases the incidence, mortality and morbidity from cardio- and cerebrovascular complications (myocardial infarction and stroke), diabetic foot problems, diabetic eye disease and diabetic kidney disease."[1]

The International Diabetes Federation maintains a position statement about diabetes and use of tobacco smoking. The position statement states the three main points:

  1. Persons who have diabetes should not smoke tobacco.
  2. All diabetes management and related educational programs should include discussion about stopping smoking.
  3. All health programs at national, regional, and international level should pay attention to control of tobacco use.


The best known health hazards of smoking is cancer. It also hurts in several other ways, particularly to persons with medical complications like diabetes. Some of the harms of smoking or using tobacco in any form by a person with diabetes are:

  1. Smoking may raise the level of blood sugar making it more difficult to control.
  2. The most significant affect of smoking is reduction in the quantity of oxygen supply to body. Persons with diabetes who also smoke is more susceptible to get nerve damage and Kidney disease. The decreased supply may lead to a number of complications, for example, heart attack, stroke, stillbirth or miscarriage.
  3. Smoking increases the blood pressure which has many other harmful affects.
  4. Smokers have a greater risk of respiratory infections, and the risk is more for persons with diabetes.
  5. Smoking has a damaging affect on the blood vessels - it constricts the blood vessels. This may cause foot diseases like foot ulcers, leg and foot infections, etc.
  6. Smoking increases the risk for limited joint mobility.


Quitting smoking is rather difficult. According to the American Diabetes Association, "Nicotine, the drug in tobacco, is one of the most addictive substances known. Besides the physical addiction, many smokers also become psychologically hooked on cigarettes. So kicking the habit is hard - but worth the work. There are many methods you can try to help you quit and stay away from smoking for good."[2]

Some tips:

  • Sharing one's commitment to quit smoking build up will power and motivation.
  • Positive attitude regarding quitting smoking is helpful.
  • Certain changes may be helpful - for instance, taking a walk after meals when the craving for smoking is at its peak, taking fruits or juices whenever the desire to smoking become intense, etc.
  • Remaining in no-smoking section - while traveling or waiting, etc.

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