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Secondhand smoke may lead to increased diabetes risk

Think secondhand smoke isn't that bad for you? Think again! Among other things secondhand smoke has been found to dramatically increase risks of type II diabetes.

It’s not a big deal if you hang out with people who can smoke, right? And if you happen to head to a bar where people are smoking, or another area, it’s not doing any harm right? Turns out that secondhand smoke can be quite dangerous, even if it’s not as dangerous as first-hand smoking.

A recent study found that those people who are frequently exposed to secondhand smoke were 22 percent more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes than people who were never exposed to smoke at all. Meanwhile, if you’re a regular, heavy smoker, your risk of type 2 diabetes increases by 37 percent! Even those who quit smoking are still 14 percent more likely to suffer from diabetes.

Smoking has already been linked to lung cancer, strokes, heart disease, birth defects, and other ailments. Diabetes has also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, strokes, and other serious conditions. The link between secondhand smoke and diabetes, however, comes as somewhat of a surprise as diabetes is usually thought to be associated with diet, not smoking.

It should be noted, however, that the study does not offer proof that smoking actually causes diabetes. Instead, the study only examines a link between the two. It is possible that people who smoke are simply more prone to making other poor lifestyle choices, such as eating unhealthy foods.

Still, some researchers are pushing for diabetes to now be considered among the many risks created by diabetes. Professor Naveed Sattar, from the University of Glasgow, has stated that doctors should warn patients of the diabetes-smoking link, and that diabetes should be considered a smoking-related problem.

It’s estimated that as much as 80 percent of secondhand smoke is invisible to the naked eye, so many people may be exposed without even realizing it. Luckily, many governments around the world are taking steps to ban smoking in public areas, so the risks of secondhand smoke may be slowly decreasing.