People who vape may be setting themselves up for developing diabetes, even if they don’t smoke traditional cigarettes, a new study suggests.
Among more than 600,000 U.S. adults, researchers found that those who used electronic cigarettes were more likely to have prediabetes than people who’d never vaped or smoked. The link was seen even among e-cigarette users who said they had never smoked traditional cigarettes.
The link between vaping and prediabetes
Prediabetes refers to blood sugar levels that are higher than they should be, but not yet at the threshold for diagnosing type 2 diabetes.
The findings do not prove that vaping directly raises the odds of prediabetes, says senior researcher Shyam Biswal, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, in Baltimore.
But, he says, cigarette smoking is known to be linked to higher diabetes risk. And research has shown that nicotine, as well as chemicals in tobacco smoke, can alter the body’s ability to control blood sugar.
E-cigarettes also contain nicotine, along with their own blend of “e-liquid” chemicals whose effects are not yet fully understood.
So it is “certainly plausible,” Biswal says, that vaping could influence diabetes risk, too.
The ever-growing risks of vaping
The findings — published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine — add to ever-widening concerns about the health effects of vaping.