A study has found that people who give up smoking dramatically increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by the subsequent weight gain that they experience after giving up.
The study, carried out by scientists at the John Hopkins University in the US, found that people that had managed to kick the habit were 70% more likely to develop the condition within six years, fuelled partly by the weight gains that most people experience in the months and years after quitting.
A total of 11,000 middle-aged adults were monitored over 17 years for the study which found that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was highest in the first three years after quitting, while during the same time frame, quitters put on an average of about 8.4lb (4kg) and saw their waistline expand by about 1.75in (3.2cm).
Experts have warned those thinking of kicking the habit as part of their new year’s resolution not to use the findings as an excuse not to quit.
Natasha Marsland, care adviser at the health charity Diabetes UK, said: “On no account should people use the theoretical results of this study as an excuse not to give up smoking.”
The study also found that risk-factors decreased in people who had not developed the condition within 10 years of quitting.