A new brief, jointly developed by WHO, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the University of Newcastle, unveils that quitting smoking can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 30–40%.
Quitting smoking not only reduces the risk of developing the type 2 diabetes but also substantially improves management and reduces the risk of diabetes-related complications.
IDF estimates that 537 million people have diabetes, a number that continues to rise. Type 2 diabetes is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases worldwide, accounting for over 95% of all diabetes cases. However, type 2 diabetes is often preventable.
Tobacco use is a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Evidence suggests that smoking has influence on insulin resistance, which is a hallmark of type 2 diabetes.
Smoking also increases the risk of diabetes-related complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney failure and blindness. Smoking also delays wound healing and increases the risk of lower limb amputations, posing a significant burden on health systems.
“Smoking contributes to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heightens the risk of developing the potentially life-threatening complications associated with the condition. The International Diabetes Federation strongly encourages people to stop smoking to reduce their risk of diabetes and, if they have diabetes, help avoid complications. We call on governments to introduce policy measures that will discourage people from smoking and remove tobacco smoke from all public spaces,” said Quote Prof. Akhtar Hussain, President of IDF.
The message is clear: quitting smoking is not just about healthier lungs and hearts; it’s also a concrete step in reducing the burden of type 2 diabetes.
“Health professionals play a vital role in motivating and guiding individuals with type 2 diabetes to quit tobacco, while governments should take the crucial step of ensuring all public places are smoke-free. These interventions are essential safeguards against the pervasive and formidable challenge of this disease,” said Ruediger Krech, WHO Director of Health Promotion.
Download the brief below.