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Does Smoking Break Your Fast? Read This Before Lighting Up
Intermittent Fasting

Does Smoking Break Your Fast? Read This Before Lighting Up

HR_author_photo_Thalia
Written by Thalia Oosthuizen | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on November 11, 2022
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3 min
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Intermittent fasting has a lot of rules. Some of these rules aren’t as easy to figure out and can potentially break a fast during your most critical fasting period.

Thankfully, our fasting experts are here to explain all of the nitty-gritty details about intermittent fasting.

If you’re a regular smoker or even just a social smoker, you may be wondering if you can still enjoy your smoke break without breaking your fast. We’ve got all the answers on smoking and more.

Will Smoking Break a Fast?

Several studies reveal that smoking, either cigarettes or marijuana, does not cause an insulin reaction, nor does smoking consume any calories. Nicotine also doesn’t impact fasting blood glucose, and there’s no insulin response while smoking.

Since cigarettes contain no sugar, they don’t affect your insulin levels. The lack of effect on these insulin levels usually indicates that something won’t, technically, break a fast.

You don’t need us to tell you that smoking cigarettes can cause many adverse side effects from the jump. You have probably already weighed the cost-risk of smoking and don’t need to be told that it’s terrible for you.

However, smoking during a fast can significantly affect your body in ways that you’re not used to experiencing. While you’re fasting, smoking cigarettes can cause insulin resistance. This can impact fasting blood sugar, cause heart disease or even kidney damage.

When you’re fasting, your body is not gaining any outside nutrients. This means that your body is focused on using up its reserves for energy and sustenance for the duration of the fast. When the only thing your body is getting is cigarettes, this can cause a problem.

Smoking while doing longer fasts, such as fasts that go from 24 to 36 hours period, can cause a severe drop in blood pressure and even cause fainting.

Can You Smoke During Ramadan?

No, you can’t smoke during the fasting hours of Ramadan from dawn to dusk, but you can smoke after the fast breaks.

During the month of Ramadan, a Muslim tradition of fasting, reflection, and prayer, Muslims choose to fast both food and water from dawn to dusk each day of the month. This is a way for Muslims to connect with the community and God and reflect on what they’re grateful for.

Does Vaping Break a Fast?

Much like smoking, vaping does not break a fast. 

There are calories within vapes, but they are so negligible that there’s no effect on your body in terms of caloric intake. In many ways, vaping is considered a healthier alternative to smoking due to fewer chemicals.

However, you should always be careful about what chemicals you’re putting into your body during a fast, especially if you’re fasting for more extended periods. Vaping can be the cause of high blood sugar and severe lung injury.

Intermittent fasting is great for your health, so make sure you give your body the best chance to heal!

Can You Smoke After Breaking Fast?

Experts warn against smoking immediately after breaking a fast, especially if you weren’t smoking during the duration of that fast. Studies on smoking after breaking a fast were primarily done on Muslims who smoked after Ramadan.

Immediate smoking after a fast can put your body at risk in your heart and nervous system. You’re at a higher risk of raised blood pressure and putting nicotine on an empty stomach.

While the cravings may be intense, try waiting for that first cigarette until you’ve had a healthy meal. You may even want to use fasting as a way to decrease the number of cigarettes you consume.

Does Smoking Help Reduce Hunger?

Smoking is an appetite suppressant. The reduction of the hunger signals in our body can often cause people who quit smoking to gain weight immediately afterward. For many people, nicotine is used to help reduce hunger.

However, there are much healthier and more natural ways to reduce the hunger signals while fasting. Tea and coffee are great ways to help your body through a fasting period without all of the dangerous side effects of smoking during a fast.

A Word From Our RD

Smoking will not break a fast. Because there’s no effect on insulin levels, no calories, and no impact on blood sugar. You’re not breaking your fast if you have one or two cigarettes.

That isn’t to say that it should be encouraged, however. Intermittent fasting and smoking do not go together. There’s a high risk of insulin resistance, and smoking during a fast is ill-advised by medical professionals.

However, if you’re not ready to give up on cigarettes just yet, but are still looking for all of the weight loss and health benefits of intermittent fasting, consider switching to rolling your cigarettes with natural tobacco.

Tobacco cigarettes still contain nicotine, as organic tobacco has naturally occurring nicotine. But commercial cigarettes tend to add other addictive and dangerous chemicals.

When you switch to organic tobacco, you’re less likely to experience the dangerous side effects of smoking during a fast.

Not to mention, nicotine isn’t the cause of cancer in smokers. While nicotine is very addictive, switching to a self-rolled cigarette with natural tobacco will lower your chances of severe side effects.

Conclusion

Does smoking break your fast? The answer is no. However, you can’t smoke during Ramadan.

When you start intermittent fasting, you may not be ready to give up your smoking habit. However, it would help to resist the urge to smoke during an intermittent fast during your fasting period.

Smokers experience many dangerous side effects from just the cigarette alone. Intermittent fasting combined with smoking can cause heart issues, kidney damage, lower insulin resistance, and high blood pressure.

If you haven’t tried IF, we would recommend checking this article of intermittent fasting for beginners.

HR_author_photo_Thalia
Written by
Thalia has always wanted to be a writer, starting her first local newspaper at the age of 11. She also has enjoyed a passion for health and fitness since a young age, playing many sports through her schooling career, and still enjoys biking, running, and swimming today. She studied English Language at University for 3 years, developing a passion for spelling, grammar, and research. She now has over 10 years of experience writing, proofreading, and editing, and has paired this with her love for health and fitness by writing health content.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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