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Quitting Smoking Temporarily Increases Likelihood of Type 2 Diabetes

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Inreased chance of type 2 diabetes

Quitting Smoking Temporarily Increases Likelihood of Type 2 Diabetes

January 05, 2010
By Joe Meloni for Diabetes1

With the New Year come resolutions made by countless Americans. Among the primary pacts made is the promise to quit smoking. The health benefits of kicking the habit are innumerable; however a recent study shows that those who quit smoking can temporarily increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Since weight gain is often a byproduct of a new life without cigarettes, those trying to quit or those who have recently quit are more likely to develop the illness than those still smoking or those who do not smoke, according to the Jan. 5 edition of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Despite the risk, doctors urge smokers not to reconsider their decision to stop smoking. It is necessary to evaluate lifestyle choices when removing a serious addiction from your day-to-day routine. The study, which began in the late 1980s, found that smokers were 42 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-smokers. However, those who quit smoking were 72 percent more likely to become diabetic in the earliest stages of quitting.

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  • “For smokers at risk for diabetes, smoking cessation should be coupled with strategies for diabetes prevention and early detection,” according to the report.

    When a smoker removes nicotine from their system entirely, they’re often forced to replace it with something. Doctors suggest exercise rather than increased eating in the first few months of the process.

    According to the report, new non-smokers gained weight, suffered an enlarged waistline, and higher fasting blood sugar levels than people who had never smoked. All three factors contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.

    “The message is: Don’t even start to smoke,” Hsin-Chieh Yeh, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and lead author of the study, says in a press release. “If you smoke, give it up. It’s the right thing to do.”

    The study suggests smokers should consult a doctor when deciding to smoke. Rather than just removing it from their lives completely, piecing together a plan for gradual cessation of smoking will make the process easier and prevent any of the side effects discovered in this study.

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