Tobacco Can Worsen Diabetes Effects

Daniel Jacobsen, NP

If you are a tobacco user and have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or have been told that you are at risk for developing diabetes, there are some alarming facts you need to know.

Tobacco use causes many health problems for everyone who uses it, but when someone with diabetes uses tobacco those negative health effects are magnified.

  • There is a significant relationship between smoking and the development of Type 2 diabetes.
  • You are more likely to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, which, when combined with Type 2 diabetes, leads to metabolic syndrome
  • Maintaining glucose control is difficult.
  • Tobacco use causes insulin resistance, which means your body is less able to use the insulin it produces. 
  • Tobacco use results in poor circulation and slows wound healing, things that are already problems for the person with diabetes
  • The risk of damaging your kidneys and your eyes is increased
  • You are more likely to suffer a stroke. When a tobacco user has a stroke, it tends to be more severe, with worse outcomes.

It is important for anyone who uses tobacco to think about quitting. Quitting tobacco is the number one thing you can do for your health. It is even more important for someone who has diabetes.

Quitting is hard, but with help from the North Shore-LIJ Center for Tobacco Control and your doctor, you can succeed.

Have you tried to quit smoking while managing Type 2 diabetes? Tell us about your experience in the comments.


Daniel Jacobsen, NP,

North Shore-LIJ Center for Tobacco Control

*Disclaimer: The medical content on the North Shore-LIJ Health Blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consultation with your physician regarding diagnosis, treatment or any other form of specific medical advice. More...