New Warning for Smokers: Nicotine Raises Blood Sugar

smoking and diabetes© Stockbyte/Thinkstock

A new study reveals why diabetic smokers suffer greater risk of complications such as nerve damage, blindness, and heart problems compared with non-diabetic smokers. For the first time, researchers have identified strong evidence that the nicotine in cigarettes raises blood sugar.

California State Polytechnic chemistry professor Xiao-Chuan Liu, Ph.D., who presented his research at an American Chemical Society meeting, said that up until now, no one knew what exact substance in cigarettes triggered a rise in blood sugar. Liu’s study, which used human blood samples, discovered that  as nicotine levels rise in the blood, so does the amount of HbA1c (blood glucose). HbA1c levels are a common indicator of the amount of blood sugar in the body. Liu found that nicotine raised HbA1c levels as much as 34 percent.

Liu says, “If you’re a smoker and have diabetes, you should be concerned and make every effort to quit smoking.” Should smokers with diabetes be worried about using nicotine-replacement products? The consensus is that the benefits of such products to help smokers stay off cigarettes outweighs the adverse effects of temporary elevations in blood sugar. Although experts caution against using them for extended periods of time.

Learn More:
Diabetes Prevention and Control
25 Ideas for How to Stop Smoking

Sources:, American Chemical Society

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.