Quitting smoking can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 30 to 40 percent, according to a joint advisory by the World Health Organization WHO), the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), and the University of Newcastle.
Evidence suggests that smoking influences the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels, which can cause type 2 diabetes.
Smoking also increases the risk of related complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, and blindness.
It also delays wound healing and increases the risk of lower limb amputations, posing a significant burden on health systems.
Akhtar Hussain, president of the International Diabetes Federation, IDF, said: “The International Diabetes Federation strongly encourages people to stop smoking to reduce the risk and, if they have diabetes, to 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”.
The IDF estimates that it is prevalent in more than 3.7 per cent of the adult population in Nigeria.
It also estimates that 537 million people have diabetes, a number that continues to rise, making it the ninth cause of death globally.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases worldwide, accounting for over 95 percent of all cases, however, it is often preventable.
Quitting smoking not only reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes but also substantially improves the management and reduces the risk of complications.
“Health professionals play a vital role in motivating and guiding individuals with type 2 diabetes in their journey to quit tobacco. Simultaneously, governments must take the crucial step of ensuring all indoor public places, workplaces, and public transport are completely smoke-free.
These interventions are essential safeguards against the onset and progression of this and many other chronic diseases,” Ruediger Krech, WHO, director of Health Promotion, said.