The new study, which was published Sept. 19 in the medical journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, shows that second hand smoke can lead to diabetes on the long run. Previous studies had shown that only smokers had this risk.
The recent research also revealed that the risk of diabetes in smokers is increased by 37 percent compared with non-smokers, while the diabetes risk of ex-smokers is 14 percent higher than the diabetes risk of people who never smoked. Moreover, heavy smokers have a 57 percent higher risk of developing diabetes.
According to a NHS report, second hand smoke could also boost risk of cancer and lung diseases including pneumonia and bronchitis.
But the recent study is a review of nearly 90 studies on passive smoking and its impact on non-smokers’ health. The studies involved nearly six million participants. Study authors reached the conclusion that both smoking and passive smoking significantly raised risk of diabetes.
Researchers noted that the recent review is one of the first to find a link between secondhand smoke and high risk of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, former smokers are also at risk, so they should closely watch their diet after they give up the habit and chose licensed nicotine products to stave off cravings.
The research team also said that passive smoking and the risk of developing diabetes could be reduced if appropriate regulatory measures are taken to reduce active smoking. For instance, regulators should create more smoke-free areas to lower secondhand smoke exposure.
Richard Elliott, a spokesperson for Diabetes UK said that it is no secret that both active and passive smoking can have dreadful consequences including death, but little is known about a link between passive smoking and a heightened risk of diabetes.
Nevertheless, Dr. Elliot cautioned that the study doesn’t find a cause-and-effect link between passive smoking and risk of diabetes. Yet, the meta-analysis does suggest that smoking may cause type 2 diabetes in both active smokers and non-smokers who breathe in smokers’ cigarette smoke.
Smoking is also bad for diabetes patients because they already have a high risk of cardiovascular disease. So, if you are diabetic and a smoker you should quit the habit as soon as possible, Dr. Elliot recommends.
In the U.K., regulators banned smoking in a vehicle when an underage person is around. Both driver and passengers could be fined $77 if that happens.
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