What Are the Effects of Smoking?

Smoking has severe effects on your diabetes and your health. Quitting smoking will give you more energy, better control of your diabetes, and less chance of a heart attack or stroke.

Blood sugar:

Smoking raises your blood glucose (sugar) and reduces your body’s ability to use insulin, making it more difficult to control your diabetes.


Smoking can make vision problems worse and raise your risk of blindness.


Smoking raises your risk of getting gum disease and losing your teeth.


Smoking increases your risk of nerve damage, which can cause numbness, pain and problems with digestion.


Smokers with diabetes are eleven times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people who don’t have diabetes and don’t smoke.


Smoking triples your risk of kidney disease. Drugs that help prevent kidney failure don’t work as well for smokers.

Feet and legs:

Smoking can lead to serious foot and leg problems, like infections, ulcers, and poor blood flow, and raises your risk of amputation.


Many people with diabetes have high levels of cholesterol. Smoking makes this worse by increasing buildup on artery walls, putting you at more risk for heart attack or stroke.

Source: California Diabetes Program of the CDPH, UCSF, (caldiabetes.org)

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