Diabetics May Have New Reason to Quit Smoking - 8 News NOW

Diabetics May Have New Reason to Quit Smoking

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There are plenty of reasons to quit smoking or better yet, never start. Now, there's a new one. In this Dealing with Diabetes report, Eye on Health looks at new research that connects cigarette smoking with an increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

Las Vegas resident, Gennaro Giannini finally kicked the habit after smoking for 50 years.

"I wish I had quit a lot sooner. I wish had never started," said Giannini. Now Giannini's been diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. The two could be connected.

Swiss scientists found that smokers have a 44-percent higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes than non-smokers.

Las Vegas endocrinologist Fred Toffel is all in favor of people quitting smoking, but he says finding a link is not the same as finding a cause.

"This is a lot different than saying there's something in cigarette smoke that causes diabetes. That we don't know. You can't answer that question from this study. For instance, those who smoke may not exercise as much. And that may be the link between the increase in smoking and diabetes," said Dr. Toffel.

That aside, Dr. Toffel does recommend that diabetics quit because smoking can put them on the fast-track to heart disease and high blood pressure.

"There is more of a causal relationship between cigarette smoking and high blood pressure than smoking and high blood sugar," he said.

Giannini used to smoke five packs a day and he says if he can quit, anyone can. "All you got to do is set your mind to it, and you can do anything."

Excellent advice, because the study found that even light smokers may have an increased risk of developing diabetes.

For more about the new study, click here.

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