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Yet Another Reason to Quit This Dangerous Habit…

It’s well known that smoking is detrimental to a person’s health. It can lead to lung cancer, heart disease, stroke… and now it’s associated with type 2 diabetes, even in those who have quit or never even smoked.

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This finding was the result of pooling together 88 separate studies, which meant about 6 million test subjects were examined. According to the findings, a percentage of type 2 diabetes cases can be traced back to smoking habits—11.7 percent in men, and 2.4 percent in women. The link between smoking and type 2 diabetes has been suspected for a while now, but this is the first study that establishes the risks of those who inhale smoke secondhand or have quit.

The study also notes that the more smoking a person does, the higher their chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Chain smokers have a 57 percent risk, for example, whereas moderate smokers have a 34 percent chance. Those who quit less than 5 years ago have a 54 percent risk, but after 10 years the chances drop to 11 percent. Remarkably, secondhand smokers have a 22 percent chance of developing type 2—a higher chance than those who quit over a decade ago.

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So smoking doesn’t just increase diabetes risks in smokers, but it can also increase diabetes risks in non-smokers who have friends and family that light up. That makes quitting all the more important; smoking doesn’t just affect the person doing it, but it also affects the people around them—even those who have never picked up a cigarette.

The study was published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal.

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Allison Stout is a Whovian, Potterhead, study abroad alumna, and animal lover. A native to West Michigan, she dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world.