Health Risks of Tobacco Use and Exposure

Tobacco use (smoking and smokeless) and exposure to second smoke increases the risk of developing various chronic diseases, including diabetes. Tobacco use can increase diabetic complications. GASP developed two powerpoint presentations on the this topic, one for the general public and one for health practitioners. Please contact us for more information on the presentations.

Tobacco control policies across the globe will prevent almost 7.4 million premature deaths by year 2050, according to a Georgetown University study published in Bulletin of the World Health Organization's Volume 91, Number 7, July 2013, 465-544". This U.S. News & World Report's July 1, 2013 news article provides details.

Visit the Surgeon General's tobacco-related report library to learn more on the adverse health consequences of tobacco. Compared with nonsmokers, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies the health risks of smoking with an estimated increase in the risk of:

Read the fact sheets as they relate to tobacco use from the CDC's health effects of cigarette smoking and the health risks from secondhand smoke. Read a May 5, 2010 article from the Michigan Department of Public Health entitled "The Impact of Smoking on Chronic Disease".

The CDC Report released on August 3, 2012 shows a decrease in total consumption of all smoked tobacco products declined by 27.5 percent between 2000 and 2011, with a minimal decline of 0.8 percent for 2010-11. Despite the overall decline, the consumption of non-cigarette smoked tobacco products increased by 123 percent, partly attributable to the difference in taxation. A provision signed into law in July will limit the advantage of this price difference. Read more statistics from the CDC report and the press release of the report. Read more about closing the tax loophole at our RYO webpage.

On August 15, 2012, The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) issued Ending the Tobacco Epidemic: Progress Toward a Healthier Nation, a progress report on HHS's November 2010 strategic action plan entitled Ending the Tobacco Epidemic: A Tobacco Control Strategic Action Plan. HHS' 2010 plan outlines actions that serve as a roadmap to achieve the Healthy People objective of reducing the U.S. adult smoking rate to 12 percent by 2020. Unfortunately, the CDC report from November 9, 2012 shows no significant change occurred between 2010 (19.3%) and 2011 (19.0%) towards meeting this 2020 goal, pointing out the need for fuller implementation of evidence-based interventions that are proven to reduce smoking prevalence.HHS' August 2012 progress report provides details about achieving measurable success in transforming goals into action, for all four major action areas: Leading by example, Improving the public’s health, Engaging the public, and Advancing knowledge. The progress report includes a summary of recent federal legislation on tobacco control. Read more about HHS' plan and progress report on their website.

Smoking can increase the risk of heartburn:

Read more about why smoking can cause heartburn.

Increase in Diabetic Prevalence

Nearly 26 million Americans are estimated to have diabetes, according to a January 26, 2011 press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a 9% increase from the 2008 estimate of 23.6 million Americans with diabetes. Health officials believe diabetes is becoming more common because of the rise in obesity, and people with the disease are living longer. Also, according to this NY Times article, a more widely used blood sugar test to detect diabetes may be responsible for as much as half of the reported increase.

The CDC 2011 report estimates that 79 million U.S. adults have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes raises a person's risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. In a study published last year, CDC projected that as many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue. Type 2 diabetes, in which the body gradually loses its ability to use and produce insulin, accounts for 90 percent to 95 percent of diabetes cases. Learn more about the CDC 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet.

Secondhand smoke is a risk factor for developing diabetes. Eliminate your secondhand smoke exposure in your life: at home, in workplaces and cars, and outdoors. Studies confirm that secondhand smoke is a risk factor for diabetes:

Smoking and diabetes are a dangerous combination. Smoking raises your risk for diabetes complications. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) lists why diabetics who smoke have a greater mortality rate:

The 2010 U.S. Surgeon General's report entitled, How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease, states in its Fact Sheet that "the chemicals in tobacco smoke complicate the regulation of blood sugar levels, exacerbating the health issues resulting from diabetes. Smokers with diabetes have a higher risk of heart and kidney disease, amputation, eye disease causing blindness, nerve damage and poor circulation."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) on Tips from Former Smokers describes how smoking increases your chance of becoming a type-2 diabetic, and that not smoking can help prevent type-2 diabetes. The CDC's Consumer Booklet, How Tobacco Smoke Causes Diseases, on page 14, states that smokers who are diabetic need more insulin than diabetics who don't smoke.

Visit the Partnership for a Tobacco-Free Maine's website with information for health professionals treating smokers with chronic disease. details more risks encountered by chronic disease patients:

Studies confirm that smoking is a risk factor for diabetes.

If you are pregnant, avoid tobacco and nicotine and secondhand smoke exposure. A Purdue University study published March 18, 2008 in Toxicological Sciences discussed that fetal and neonatal exposure to nicotine use may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Pregnant women can develop gestational diabetes. If you are pregnant, click here to learn about pregnancy with diabetes. Las mujeres embarazadas pueden tener diabetes getacional. Si esta embarazada, haga clic aqui para saber sobre el embarazo con diabetes.
Using smokeless tobacco can be detrimental to diabetics. As reported in Center for Prevention's informational brochure, sugar and sodium are added to smokeless tobacco and smokeless tobacco users have higher insulin levels than nonusers. The Mayo Clinic has a leading tobacco cessation program, which discusses the harmful health effects of smokeless tobacco, and types of smokeless tobacco.

Quit tobacco to better manage your diabetes, or to reduce your risk of becoming diabetic. Quitting tobacco (smoked and smokeless) will help lower your risk for heart attack, stroke, nerve, kidney and vascular diseases. Your cholesterol and blood pressure levels and blood circulation may improve when you quit smoking. Quitting smoking also benefits those exposed to secondhand smoke - family, friends, neighbors, home visit workers and pets. Click here for tobacco cessation resources sponsored by the government and private programs, some at no or low cost. Speak to your health practitioner, health care plan and employer about resources to quit tobacco.

For healthcare professionals treating diabetic patients. Tobacco dependence treatment professionals can learn how to integrate treatment of tobacco dependence as a routine component of diabetes care:

Last update: 12/4/13