The World Health Organization (WHO), the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), and the University of Newcastle have said that quitting smoking can substantially decrease the risk of developing type-2 diabetes by 30-40%. The global implications of this revelation are vast, given that type-2 diabetes accounts for over 95% of all diabetes cases worldwide.
According to the WHO, smoking adversely affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels, a crucial factor in the onset of type-2 diabetes. The preventive potential is significant, as type-2 diabetes is often linked to modifiable factors such as excess weight, insufficient physical activity, and genetic predispositions.
The IDF estimates that a staggering 537 million people currently live with diabetes globally, making it the ninth leading cause of death. The organization, encompassing over 240 national diabetes associations in 161 countries, emphasizes the preventability of diabetes and calls for urgent measures to address the rising prevalence.
Quitting smoking not only reduces the risk of developing diabetes but also lessens the chances of diabetes-related complications, including cardiovascular diseases, kidney failure, blindness, delayed wound healing, and an increased risk of lower limb amputations, as stated by the WHO.
President of the IDF, Akhtar Hussain, strongly advocates for global action, urging governments to implement policies discouraging smoking and ensuring smoke-free environments in public spaces. “The International Diabetes Federation strongly encourages people to stop smoking to reduce their risk of diabetes and, if they have diabetes, help avoid complications,” stated Hussain.
Health professionals are deemed pivotal in motivating individuals with type-2 diabetes to quit tobacco, with WHO’s Director of Health Promotion, Ruediger Krech, emphasizing the necessity of smoke-free indoor public places, workplaces, and public transport. Krech notes, “These interventions are essential safeguards against the onset and progression of this and many other chronic diseases.”