Smoking is now widespread in our society. You can see someone lighting up a cigarette on almost any given street corner. Whether it’s in place of breakfast, on the way to work, or in the lunch break, those who start smoking tend to increase the frequency of doing so without even realizing it. It starts to become normal–a habit. A quick grasp in the pocket, and it’s already in the mouth.

In the past, the negative effects were unknown. Today, that is not the case. Nevertheless, so many people reach for cigarettes several times a day. How dangerous is this really? And does it affect the keto diet in any way?

Does Smoking Affect the Keto Diet?

In today’s post, we will talk about cigarettes in the keto diet, how smoking can affect ketosis, and how it is simply dangerous in general.

What are cigarettes made of?

If you ask someone on the street what their cigarette is made of, they will probably say tobacco and nicotine.

Nicotine, in addition to its appearance in cigarettes, is also used as an insecticide.

But that isn’t all that is hidden in this conspicuous, additive, substance! In addition to nicotine, you will find carcinogenic substances, such as naphthlyamin, cadmium, urethane, dibenzacridine, polonium, and vinyl chloride, as well as the highly toxic substance arsenic. Furthermore, you’ll find ammonia, acetone, methanol, and toluene in cigarettes.

Still, yet you may find insecticides, such as DDT, and moth repellent, such as naphthalene, as well as hydrogen cyanide.

A real poison cocktail.

Yet people put this all in their bodies multiple times a day!

What are the effects?

Actually, when smoking, the amount of nicotine contained isn’t sufficient to poison you in a life-threatening way immediately. In fact, nicotine causes more and more damage gradually. It is a very strong poison and we usually do not notice its effects until it is too late. If you swallow or eat tobacco, it can be fatal, and with that children and infants are especially at risk.

As you probably already know, the by-effects of smoking are cardiovascular diseases. Damage to the blood vessels and the calcification they cause not only worsens the oxygen content of the blood, but also the blood circulation. This results in a drastic deterioration of the oxygen supply to the organs. Consequences are for example strokes, general circulatory disturbances, or even a heart attack.

In addition, people who smoke regularly or are exposed to fumes, i.e. passive smokers, age much faster. The skin tends to slacken and wrinkles appear earlier. Yellow teeth and fingertips are also a sign of nicotine consumption. In addition, there is a generally weaker immune system, which can already be a problem in old age.

The best known, however, are probably the diseases of the lungs, which are clearly promoted by smoking. The risk of developing lung cancer is considerably higher among smokers than among non-smokers. Passive smoking is also a real problem here. In addition, the occurrence of chronic obstructive bronchitis is more likely to occur because the pollutants contained in cigarettes impair the self-cleansing of the bronchi with the help of their cilia and thus develop inflammations more quickly and easily.

Another factor that smoking can influence is sugar metabolism. Studies have shown that cigarette consumption has a significantly negative effect on the insulin sensitivity of cells, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Inflammation and damage to the gums and teeth are common. Cavities are more common, teeth become yellowish and often fall out. The gums, on the other hand, are poorly supplied with blood, which often results in rot or inflammation.

In addition to the side effects mentioned above, there are other forms of cancer that affect the liver, kidneys, or pancreas, for example.

During pregnancy, smoking is particularly harmful to the unborn child. There is a marked increase in the rate of malformation and mortality. Premature, miscarriages, and stillbirths are not uncommon. In general, newborns often suffer from worsened development and have a significantly higher risk of developing cardiovascular, cancer, or respiratory diseases.


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Does smoking affect ketosis?

With a ketogenic diet, carbohydrates are reduced to less than 50g per day, whereas the intake of fat is drastically increased and attention is paid to moderate protein consumption. This is essential in order to get into ketosis at all and subsequently maintain it.

In the beginning, the remaining carbohydrate stores are emptied until the body finally has to learn to convert the fats effectively into ketone bodies and use them as energy instead. Once this metabolic state of fat metabolism has been reached, you are in ketosis. The process is similar to the one that takes place during a prolonged fast. Originally, the body’s protective mechanism was to extract energy from its fat reserves in order to survive hard times.

Nowadays, ketogenic nutrition is based on this very principle in order to help people to feel better about life and to burn fat more easily. The latter can help to permanently lose superfluous pounds or to simply keep your figure. In addition, there are countless other benefits, such as improved cognitive abilities or constant energy levels.

As mentioned earlier, tobacco consumption affects the insulin sensitivity of cells and can lead to resistance, which can have life-threatening consequences. This can be a serious problem in a traditional diet, where a large part of the food intake consists of carbohydrates and sugars.

However, since the ketogenic diet relies on fat metabolism for energy and less on sugar metabolism, smoking does not affect nutrient uptake very much. So far, no link has been found between ketosis and tobacco consumption. It is therefore not affected by the latter, so smoking during a ketogenic diet is not a problem.

The only thing that can make smoking a rather unpleasant affair is in the initial phase of the ketogenic diet. Nausea and general symptoms of the initial keto flu can cause an unpleasant mouthfeel.


Smoking is associated with countless bad effects that can be extremely life-threatening. The poison cocktail that is present in cigarettes would probably not be drunk voluntarily. Nevertheless, many of us still consume tobacco and gradually become ill.

Even if ketosis is not disturbed by tobacco consumption and smokers could benefit from a ketogenic diet, smoking is certainly not recommended, in or out of the keto diet. If one dares to take the step to a healthier lifestyle, why not also to a tobacco-free life?

Do you have any experience with smoking on the keto diet?



About Author

Hey there! I'm Anna and I am the creator and owner of I hope you find the information here useful, I'd love to hear your feedback!

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  1. Hi Anna, before I went on the Ketogenic diet 2 years ago due to being diagnosed as pre-diabetic (now I’m not, yay), I was quite a heavy smoker and trying to quit was a horrendous ordeal both physically and mentally without plenty of nicotine replacement products. However, since I went on Keto I found that I was able to smoke or not smoke at will without any replacement products and barely any of the customary withdrawal symptoms. It’s like the Keto diet hasn’t only busted my cravings for carbs/sugar, but also my cravings for nicotine to the extent that I now no longer smoke at all after stopping easily without any nicotine replacement products at all, and with barely any withdrawal symptoms. So my question is; could the Keto pathway to ending our dependency/cravings for carbs/sugar kind of carry the ability to stop smoking more easily in it’s slipstream in some way? Sorry if putting it like that doesn’t make perfect sense but it was the only way I could think to describe the phenomena I’ve experienced. I would love some feedback on this. Steve.

  2. I am on a Strict keto diet and i am a smoker. Let me share what i have observed based on my experience last few weeks. Keto is been working out great for me and i have already dropped 8Kgs in a 45 days. When it comes to smoking while on Keto – With the full on mood to go on to Keto and a healthier life style by reducing weight i had some inspiration and stopped smoking and i went without Smoking for around 10 days (I am on Keto too). But i could hold it for too long and i started smoking again but Keto went on. The clear difference i found was with the energy levels. Keto + No-Smoke days were pull me to the best of energy levels and my mood was great. Keto + Smoking dropped my energy levels and i am struggling to keep myself up, so much drop in my energy levels

    1. Hi Deepu,
      Thank you for reading and thank you so much for sharing your experiences with smoking and not smoking during the keto diet!!

      I think that the lack of energy with smoking is due to nicotine causing a negative energy state in the body. When nicotine enters the bloodstream there is a burst of energy! But this is short-lived and after that cigarette, your energy and mood levels are below those pre-smoking levels. Here is a pretty quick and interesting read about nicotine and energy levels.

      Good luck to you on quitting smoking and your keto journey!


    1. Hi Ross,
      The article wasn’t about ketosis. This article was about if smoking affects the keto diet. This linked article has more in depth info about ketosis.
      In the section “Does smoking affect ketosis?”, there is an explanation of ketosis: when your body has finally learned to convert fats into ketone bodies and use them as energy.

      Also, in the same section, I explain how there is no found link between ketosis and smoking tobacco, and therefore the keto diet is not affected by the latter, so smoking during a ketogenic diet should not a problem.

      Sorry for any confusion!

      Kind regards,

  3. Thank you for such an insightful article. I have seen many people around me addicted to smoking and they are slowly getting sick and leading to death. Nicotine in cigarettes is the most harmful human body .And it is a very powerful poison and causes a heart attack that disrupts blood circulation .In addition, there is a risk of lung cancer and last week I lost a close friend of mine who was smoking and died of lung disease .

  4. First of all thank you so much for sharing such an excellent article with us and i am a health conscious person and always do the keto diet .I got great results as a result of the Keto Diet .

    In the current world, smoking is a very harmful thing and everyone can understand its effects and smoking is now very widespread in our society.I have seen many people around me addicted to smoking and they are slowly getting sick and leading to death. Nicotine in cigarettes is the most harmful human body .And it is a very powerful poison and causes a heart attack that disrupts blood circulation .In addition, there is a risk of lung cancer and last week I lost a close friend of mine who was smoking and died of lung disease .Also, one of the important information I found through your article is that type 2 diabetes increases smoking. 

    Although smoking does not have any effect on the keto diet, everyone should consider smoking without considering other harmful aspects of smoking. And I will definitely share your article on my social media and spread it all about the harmful aspects of smoking and new experiences.

  5. Hello, Your guide is awesome. While reading I know that the skin tends to slacken and wrinkles appear earlier due to smoking. Yellow teeth and fingertips are also a sign of nicotine consumption. In addition, there is a generally weaker immune system, which can already be a problem in old age. Another factor that smoking can influence is sugar metabolism. Thanks for sharing your useful guide. I will show it to my husband. I hope he will stop smoking.

  6. Thank you for such an insightful article. While I disagree with the suggestion that cigarettes are much more common now a days (I actually think there are a lot less people, especially youngsters smoking these days as compared to 10 or 20 years ago), it’s good to know that smoking normal cigarettes doesn’t have an effect on the Keto diet. However, do other kinds of smoking have any effect? Such as smoking weed for example, or smoking electronic cigarettes? Thank you!

    1. Hi Afonso, 

      There are actually over a billion smokers worldwide! Which is more than in the past. However, this is largely in part to the increase in population. Daily smoking rates have declined over the years, but there are simply more people smoking now than ever, because there are more people than ever. 

      As far as vaping or marijuana, the keto diet focuses mainly on which nutrients you consume. Since you can’t inhale carbohydrates, it would not stop you from reaching ketosis. But the other side effects, such as increased appetite, may!

      Thanks for reading, 

    2. Hello. Thanks for the insightful article, Anna.

      At the time that I’m writing this, I’m actually doing Keto and OMAD at the same time. By now, I have months of practical experience regarding the Atkins diet, the Keto diet, intermittent fasting, as well as prolonged fasting (can’t say exactly how many months in total; I lost count).

      The bad thing for me is that I’m also actively smoking 7-12 potent cigarettes daily (by potent, I mean that SEA standard cigarettes are stronger than their US counterparts)

      In the very near future, I’m going to attempt to quit active smoking completely while doing a full 14-day water fasting. I hope that I can reap a ton of beneficial results from both actions, and to also live up to the keto and exercising lifestyle that I’ve always aspired to achieve.

      I currently stand at 180 cms tall and weigh 81 kgs. Not muscular at all and owns a skinny-fat body to boot. I also plan to do exercises that can help me go through my prolonged fasting with minimal muscle loss.

      Hope it turns out awesome for me. And if you guys can express some pointers, responses, and/or even critiques about my plans and current lifestyle, I’m totally open to receive!

      Thanks again, Anna! Stay healthy and strong, you guys!

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