Smoking and kidney disease
Smoking can seriously harm the kidneys in a number of ways. It can:
- increase your risk of developing some kidney cancers
- damage your heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular system), leading to poor blood flow to the kidneys and causing kidney damage over time. Cardiovascular damage can also increase your risk of stroke and heart attack
- help to cause or advance diabetic kidney disease – the most common cause of kidney failure.
- it can lead to surges in blood pressure
Kidney disease and its associated complications can kill – that’s why it’s so important to stop smoking.
Other reasons to stop
Giving up smoking for good can:
- Protect your loved ones from the harmful effects of second hand smoke
- Help you breathe better and cough less
- Give you more energy and boost your immune system
- Reduce stress
- Improve your sex life and improve fertility
- Improve your sense of taste and smell
- Give you younger looking skin
- Sweeten your breath and give you whiter teeth
Support to help you quit
It can be difficult to stop smoking, especially if you’ve been a smoker for years. But it’s never too late to stop.
- Speak to your GP or renal nurse if you want help and advice about how to stop smoking.
- You can also find information about treatments available on the NHS to help you stop smoking and lots of practical self-help tips.
The need for more research
How to help people stop smoking, and how to discourage people from starting smoking, are very important. We need a greater understanding of how smoking affects blood pressure, blood flow in the kidneys, and the progression of kidney damage. In particular, we need to know whether nicotine replacement treatment is safe for the kidneys.
Our life-saving research is only possible with your support.