J Korean Diabetes.  2022 Sep;23(3):192-200. 10.4093/jkd.2022.23.3.192.

Alcohol Drinking, Smoking, and Diabetes

  • 1Jung Wooyoung Psychiatry Clinic, Busan, Korea


Many patients with diabetes continue smoking and high-risk drinking during diabetes treatment. Some patients try and fail to stop alcohol drinking and smoking because of the addictive and habitual effects. Considering the high lifetime prevalence of alcohol and nicotine use disorders, the percentage of people who actively use treatment services is low. Smoking is related to increased vascular complications and mortality as well as development of diabetes. A small amount of alcohol is allowed in the diabetes treatment guidelines, but the limit can be difficult to maintain in reality. Therefore, it is necessary for a medical doctor to evaluate the alcohol and smoking problems of diabetic patients, and it may be helpful to use screening and evaluation tools such as AUDIT (alcohol use disorders identification test) for alcohol drinking and FTND (Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence) for smoking. It is important that patients are provided necessary information and a brief intervention and that they are recommended a professional treatment such as active treatment with anti-craving medications and structural psychosocial treatment programs. Many patients are worried about the harmful effects of alcohol drinking and smoking and think they should quit it, but at the same time, they may have their own reasons for not being able to quit drinking and smoking, and may be suffering from ambivalent ideas about alcohol drinking and smoking. Therefore, rather than criticizing the patient’s alcohol drinking and smoking behavior, it is important to show understanding of patient difficulties and to encourage the patient to stop drinking and smoking.


Alcohol drinking; Diabetes mellitus; Nicotine; Smoking


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