Smoking is harmful for everyone, but it can be particularly dangerous for diabetics, who are already at risk of complications such as cardiovascular disease.
If you’re a diabetic who has smoked, no matter how long, you can improve your health by quitting. The American Diabetes Association offers this list of potential dangers for diabetics who smoke:
- Smoking decreases oxygen in the tissues, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
- Smoking increases cholesterol and blood pressure, which raises your risk of heart attack.
- Smoking constricts and damages blood vessels, which can make foot ulcers worse.
- Smoking increases your risk of damage to the nerves and kidneys.
- Smoking increases your risk of colds and other respiratory illnesses.
- Smoking increases blood sugar levels.
- Smoking triples your risk of death from cardiovascular disease, compared to diabetics who don’t smoke.