Smoking and Diabetes (2024)

Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.1 Most of the food a person eats is turned into glucose (a kind of sugar) for the body’s cells to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin that helps glucose get into the body’s cells.

When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use insulin very well. When there isn’t enough insulin, or cells stop responding to insulin, too much sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.1

There are three types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake) that stops your body from making insulin. Fewer people have type 1 diabetes, which is most often diagnosed in children, adolescents, or young adults.1
  • Type 2 diabetes develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults, but is increasingly being diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. About 90%-95% of people with diabetes have type 2. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating healthy foods, and being active. 1
  • Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. While it usually goes away after pregnancy, gestational diabetes increases a woman’s risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. The condition can also increase a baby’s risk for health problems.1

For additional information about diabetes, including symptoms, risk factors, and testing, please visit CDC’s Diabetes Basics.

Smoking and Diabetes (2024)


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