Does Smoking Break A Fast?

The short answer is no, smoking does not break a fast. However, there are far more ways to smoke today than merely a cigarette or cigar, some of which might not be as straightforward.

Read on below to find out all we know about the other methods of smoking.

Are There Calories In Cigarettes?

Cigarettes contain no calories, so smoking a cigarette will not break your fast. However, you should always be cautious when it comes to smoking and ensure that you are aware of the potential negative health effects that can come from doing so.

Are There Calories In Electronic Cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are battery-operated devices that simulate the feeling of smoking by heating a liquid solution, which is then inhaled. The liquid, known as e-liquid or vape juice, typically contains nicotine and other chemicals.

E-cigarettes generally contain some calories (much more than Hookah) because the vape juice contains small amounts of sugar. However, these levels are so low that it is unlikely that vaping will break your fast.

Are There Calories In Hookah?

Woman smoking hookah

Hookah, also known as waterpipe smoking, is another type of smoking that does not involve combustible materials like cigarettes or cigars. The smoke passes through a bowl of water before being inhaled by the smoker.

Hookah may contain small amounts of sugar or other sweeteners, which can add some calories to your smoke break. Therefore, it is possible that hookah could cause you to break your fast if consumed in large enough quantities.

Will Smoking Raise Blood Glucose Or Insulin Levels?

Smoking cigarettes or cigars can raise your blood glucose and insulin levels if you are diabetic but by an indirect mechanism. Smoking increases the amount of adrenaline in your body, which can result in a rise in your blood sugar or insulin levels.

Therefore, it is important for diabetics to be aware that smoking could potentially affect their glucose control.

Other types of smoke apparatus, like e-cigarettes and hookah, may have a minimal effect on blood glucose levels, but this has not been well studied.

Will Smoking Affect Autophagy?

Surprisingly, smoking cigarettes or cigars can actually help to increase the rate of autophagy. Autophagy is a process in which cells break down and recycle their own components, helping to maintain healthy cell function.

This is believed to be due to the effects of nicotine on the body, as nicotine has been shown to increase autophagy levels and the process of apoptosis; otherwise known as programmed cell death.

E-cigs and hookah, at least the flavored variety, contain sugar and other sweeteners, which can decrease the levels of autophagy. Therefore, if you are looking to reap the benefits of autophagy while fasting, and must smoke it is best to stick to plain cigarettes or cigars.

Related: Pros And Cons Of Intermittent Fasting

Can You Smoke On Fasting Days?

You can smoke on fasting days, however, it is important to be aware of the potential health and metabolic effects.

Cigarettes are calorie-free and will not break your fast.

However, other types of smoking apparatus like e-cigarettes or hookah may contain small amounts of sugar or sweeteners which can increase your blood glucose and insulin levels if consumed in large enough quantities will have a negative effect on autophagy.

Therefore, it is best to stick to plain cigarettes or cigars if you must smoke while fasting, or smoke the device of your choice outside of the fasting window.

Final Words

In conclusion, smoking a plain cigarette may not break a fast in terms of calories but may affect your blood glucose levels or autophagy, especially if alternative smoking devices are used such as e-cigs and hookah.

It is also important to note that smoking can have many other negative health effects and should be avoided whenever possible.

We do not advocate that you start smoking just for a possible increased rate of autophagy.

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Michael Jessimy, BSc(Pharmacy)

Michael is a qualified Pharmacist with over 10 years experience dealing with a range of both prescription and alternative remedies. He is also an amateur heavyweight bodybuilder and loves spending his spare time hitting the gym. He strives to help others build the best body possible through fitness, health and nutrition consultation and has several published books under his name.

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