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Preventive Care
Risk and dangers of smoking for diabetic patients
July 4, 2019

Diabetes is a metabolic cum vascular syndrome of multiple etiology characterized by chronic hyperglycaemia with disturbances of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both leading to changes in both small blood vessels and large blood vessels

Smoking & Diabetes

Cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke are associated with premature death from chronic diseases, economic losses to society, and a substantial burden on the health-care system.

 In fact, smokers are 30–40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. Smoking makes the body more resistant to insulin, which can lead to higher blood sugar levels.   Irrespective of the type of diabetes, smoking makes diabetes harder to control.

Risks of smoking

The dangers of smoking include the risk of potentially fatal diseases, such as heart diseasechronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and many types of cancer.  Smoking and diabetes increases the risk of health complications even more.

Smoking causes heart and blood vessel damage

Smoking and diabetes both increase the risk of heart disease in very similar ways, and so when combined, they greatly exacerbate the chances of suffering a heart related condition such as a heart attack or stroke. Both high levels of glucose in the blood and smoking damage the walls of the arteries in such a way that fatty deposits can build up much easier. As this occurs, the blood vessels narrow and make circulating blood much harder. When this happens to the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood and therefore oxygen) a heart attack can occur. Similarly, a stroke is when not enough blood can get to the brain, and so anything that may limit blood flow increases the risks of a stroke.

High blood glucose levels also have an effect on the blood vessels and blood flow, so smoking increases the greater risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Smoking causes respiratory diseases

Smoking directly affects the lungs and can lead to chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other respiratory diseases. People with these diseases are at higher risk of developing lung infections, such as pneumonia. These infections can be especially dangerous for people with diabetes. Being sick also raises blood sugar levels.

Smoking damages eyes

People with diabetes also have a higher risk of several eye diseases, including cataracts and glaucoma. Poorly controlled diabetes can also lead to an eye condition called diabetic retinopathy. Smoking can accelerate the development of diabetic retinopathy and make it worse. This can eventually lead to blindness.


Recognizing the dangers of smoking and the benefits of quitting is an important first step. Make an appointment with your doctor to learn about the treatment and support options that can help to quit for good. Avoiding tobacco products lowers the risk of complications from diabetes. It can help to limit the damage to organs, blood vessels, and nerves which helps to live a longer and healthier life.


Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centres at Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad  was awarded “Service Excellence in Diabetology – South” award by the Times of India Survey 2020-2021 conducted by AVANCE. Chennai      Hyderabad Bangalore We are proud to announce that we have been selected as India’s No.1 Diabetes Hospital (in Private sector) by THE WEEK …

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