Diabetes Linked to Quitting Smoking

Diabetes Linked To Those Who “Kick the Habit”

A recent U.S. study suggests that giving up smoking sharply increases the risk of developing type-two diabetes.

Researchers found quitters had a 70% increased risk of developing type two diabetes in the first six years without cigarettes compared with non-smokers. The common problem for those who kick the smoking habit is that they tend to satiate their habit with food. They put on weight which leads to their new unhealthy state.

The study, based on 10,892 middle aged adults who were followed for up to 17 years, found the risk of developing type two diabetes was highest in the first three years after giving up smoking. On average, recent smokers gained an average of 8 pounds in the first 3 years of quitting. People who made no effort to give up smoking had a constant 30% increased risk of type two diabetes compared with nonsmokers. The Johns Hopkins team also stress that along with smoking, other health problems including heart disease, stroke and cancer are risk factors for type two diabetes.

In type two diabetes, the body either fails to make enough of the hormone insulin, or cannot make proper use of it, leading to uncontrolled blood sugar levels. The incident of type two diabetes has soared as the overweight population has grown. It is recommended that doctors stress the importance of weight control and healthy eating when they counsel patients on giving up smoking. Smoking often acts to suppress appetite. Some doctors recommend increasing your exercise as you quit, so it is done at a gradual pace and one is burning more calories to counteract any resulting increase in appetite.

“The health benefits of quitting smoking far outweigh the risk of developing type two diabetes from modest, short-term weight gain”, says Natasha Marsland of Diabetes UK. Continuing smoking is not advocated for weight control.