A US study this week reported that giving up smoking increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The researchers looked at 10,892 middle-aged adults who were followed for up to 17 years and found the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes was highest in the first three years after giving up smoking.
70 per cent increased risk
The study found quitters had a 70 per cent increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the first six years without cigarettes compared with non-smokers, due to them tending to put on weight.
"If you smoke, give it up. That's the right thing to do. But people have to also watch their weight," said researcher, Dr Jessica Yeh.
Not an excuse not to give up smoking
However, stressing the research should not be used as an excuse not to give up smoking Natasha Marsland, Care Advisor Diabetes UK, said:
"The health benefits of giving up smoking far outweigh the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes from modest, short-term weight gain.
"There is every reason you can be successful at both giving up smoking and keeping to a healthy weight if you combine daily physical activity with a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and low in sugar, salt and fat."