How Does Nicotine Affect Diabetes?

diabetes and nicotine

Apart from poor diet, many other factors can affect diabetes. Smoking is one of these. In this article, you will find out if nicotine indeed can affect people suffering from the chronic disease.


One of the factors that contribute to diabetes is heredity, more common in Type 1. Type 2, on the other hand, can also develop due to unhealthy diet and lifestyle, as well as obesity.

Nicotine and Diabetes Complications

We all know that smoking is dangerous to one’s health. It is this reason why governments have exerted various efforts in persuading the public to avoid smoking. Unfortunately, smoking can also contribute to the risk of diabetes. This is because Nicotine, the main toxic substance found on cigarettes, is said to trigger the increase of blood glucose in one’s body.

Smoking regularly can cause more health damage in diabetes patients. Studies have shown that nicotine can raise one’s level of blood sugar. In a lab study, varying amounts of nicotine were added to samples of human blood with sugar. Researchers tested Hemoglobin A1C throughout the experiment. The A1C test shows the amount in percentage of the blood cells that have attached glucose molecules. It was observed that nicotine showed a positive effect on glucose while the HbA1C levels increase along with the increase of the intake of nicotine. Increase in the amount of nicotine also increased glucose molecules in blood cells.

Nicotine Can Lead to Pre-diabetes

Nicotine can also lead to pre-diabetes, where the body develops a resistance to insulin. Further studies show that smokers are more prone to developing diabetes. This is likely due to the hormone called cortisol, which is a feel good hormone. This hormone give smokers an airy and lighter feeling right after they smoke. However, higher level of cortisol can trigger insulin resistance.

In Conclusion

It is clear that nicotine is directly related to diabetic risk. The effect of smoking is tantamount to consuming sweets and sugar. Therefore, if you have diabetes, it is important to quit smoking because nicotine will only worsen your condition and accelerate the onset of complications. Furthermore, smoking lead to several other illnesses that can further complicate your chronic metabolic disease.

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