Go to page content

Smoking and diabetes

People with diabetes are as likely to smoke as anyone else. It's worth investing in quitting smoking.

Quitting to smoke can be difficult because nicotine causes physical addiction. What’s more, smoking causes psychological, social and habitual dependency.

Smoking increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. In addition to causing cancer, chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis, smoking is extremely harmful to the heart and blood vessels. Nicotine increases heart rate and blood pressure, constricts the arteries and increases the risk of complications related to diabetes in eyes, kidneys and nerves.

The risk of cardiovascular diseases and the related risk of death are significantly higher in a person with diabetes who smokes.

Often, knowledge of the risks associated with smoking is fairly superficial, and the person who smokes might not be fully aware of the real danger of smoking for their future health.

The harmful side effects of smoking for a person with diabetes:

  • Constricts the arteries

  • Increases blood pressure

  • Increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases

  • Reduces circulation in the feet

  • Contributes to erectile dysfunction

  • Increases the risk of damage to the kidneys, nerves and retinopathy

  • Can reduce the efficacy of insulin

Many are worried about gaining weight. However, in the long run, smoking is much more harmful than potentially gaining a few kilos.

There are several methods available to help with quitting: online self-care programmes, stop smoking groups, self-suggestion, hypnosis, acupuncture, nicotine replacement therapy or actual medication.

Updated 30.9.2023