Smoking and Diabetes – It’s Like Throwing Gas on a Fire!

monkey smoking a cigaretteWARNING! Do we really need to give a warning about smoking and diabetes? Well, we will. The following may be GOOD for your health.

Nonetheless, maybe you are just a little bit curious about some gruesome and disturbing statistics. Isn’t everyone? And, hopefully, you are a little
curious about how to quit smoking, if you are having trouble with it.


Smoking, all by itself without the help of diabetes, accounts for over 400,000 deaths a year. This is nearly 20 percent of all deaths in America.
Curiously, 38,000 of these deaths are attributed to second hand smoke. Now I guess we know why smoking is no longer allowed in most restaurants and offices!
Here is a laundry list of ills associated with smoking:

Causes lung cancer, colon cancer, emphysema, heart disease, stroke, heart burn, liver damage, peptic ulcers, crohn’s disease, gallstones, reduced blood circulation,
nerve and disease.

I am sure I missed something, but you get the picture. What are the current smoking trends? Interestingly, men have begun to quit smoking, but not to worry;
women and teens have picked up the slack and are smoking more.


Diabetes is no slouch either when it comes to causing health problems. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
Over 68% of all diabetic deaths are attributed to cardiovascular disease. Other maladies traced to diabetes: nerve damage, kidney failure, eye disease,
and dental disease. Diabetes is also the leading cause of amputations in the country.

Smoking and Diabetes

Now here is where we have a lot of trouble. The main reason smoking and diabetes are a problem together, as if the two separately weren’t enough, is that
both cause your blood vessels to narrow. Narrow blood vessels cause a host of problems; in particular they lead to increased stroke and heart disease.

In fact, if you smoke and have diabetes, your chance of developing cardiovascular disease more than doubles. Want more? Narrow blood vessels also
cause more nerve damage, eye problems, kidney disease and lowers blood circulation.

More? Smoking also causes damage to blood vessels in your legs.

Smoking can also cause impotence. (OK guys, I know that one was unfair, true, but unfair). Oh, and one more thing, remember how diabetes was the leading cause of
amputations in America? Smoking increases your risk of amputation.

Whew! Clearly this is good stuff. Ready to quit yet?

Quitting Smoking

In most contexts, nobody likes to be viewed as a quitter. However, I think from reading the above, we can make an exception here. Or, maybe we could re-frame the
event and view it as firing the cigarettes? As Donald Trump would say on his reality show: “Cigarettes. Your Fired!”

Regardless, there are a number of free options available to help you through the process. First, talk to your doctor. You should also take a look at the American Heart Association website and the American Cancer Society’s website for resources on how to quit. The choice is ultimately yours. Good health or dying of a heart attack after your leg has been amputated.

This was a public service announcement!

By Erich Schultz – Last Reviewed January 2013.