Smokers have a 30% to 40% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to non smokers, according to new data published in the Surgeon General’s (the USA’s chief medical officer) report on smoking. This follows on from the previous Surgeon General’s 2010 report which discussed links between smoking and impaired glycaemic control ( a pre diabetic state), the development of diabetes, and diabetic complications. Now, with the new evidence the new report goes further and states:
- The evidence is sufficient to infer that cigarette smoking is a cause of diabetes.
- There exists a dose-response relationship i.e. the more you smoke the greater your risk of developing Diabetes.
- The risk reduces following smoking cessation.
Commenting on the report Professor Tonstad, stressed that the lack of attention paid to smoking cessation in clinical encounters (GP/nurse consultations) with patients who have diabetes or pre diabetes is “a major concern.” Professor Tonstad believed that most of the consultation time was assigned to blood sugar regulation, medications, and diet. These findings from the report now highlight the importance of giving attention to smoking cessation also in the battle against diabetes.