Why Smokers Need More Vitamin D

By Michael A. Smith, MD

Before we begin, this is not a “stop smoking now or you will die” blog post. We don’t need to go there - you already know what the consequences are and that you need to stop.

Instead, what we want to impress upon you is the need to take vitamin D if you smoke. Why? Because recent studies clearly show that smokers with low levels of vitamin D are actually at greater risk for permanent lung damage.

And this means that you need to do more than just increase your intake of vitamin D rich foods. It means that you need to check your blood level and take an appropriate daily dose of vitamin D to optimize your blood level.

The study we’ll look at below is pretty clear: Low vitamin D is not good for smokers.

Poor Lung Function & Low Vitamin D

Data from 626 men indicated that vitamin D deficiency may accelerate the loss of lung function associated with smoking. The analysis was a part of the Normative Aging Study.

The researchers first defined vitamin D deficiency as a blood level less than 20 ng/ml. They then reviewed blood results of the participants and categorized them as either deficient or sufficient and whether or not they smoked.

Their analysis revealed that vitamin D deficiency in smokers was associated with lower lung function when compared to smokers with sufficient levels.

The lead researcher concluded, “This study presents evidence that vitamin D deficiency may protect against lower lung function and more rapid lung function decline in smokers.”

Does this mean that you can continue smoking and simply take vitamin D and everything will be okay? Absolutely not! But we know how hard it is to quit.

So if you smoke, starting today, optimize your vitamin D blood level and continue your efforts to quit. It could help slow down the inevitable lung damage that comes with lighting up.

Optimal Vitamin D Blood Levels

Low dietary intake and limited sun exposure have led to an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. And this appears to have serious consequences for smokers. Please, make it a habit to get your vitamin D blood level checked yearly and supplement with it to maintain an optimal level.

So what is an optimal level? Well, based on the study cited here, we know that a sufficient level is greater than 20 ng/ml. But honestly, we still feel that’s way too low.

We suggest a blood level between 50 and 80 ng/ml. Why? Because research shows that at this level, vitamin D offers benefits to your immune system, lungs, heart, and could even protect against cancer.

So, start off by checking your blood level. We actually offer a vitamin D blood test that’s affordable and very easy to use on our website. If you want to learn more about it, give our vitamin D blood test page a look.


  1. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. July 19, 2012 rccm.201110-1868OC Published ahead of print on July 19, 2012, doi:10.1164/rccm.201110-1868OC (http://ajrccm.atsjournals.org/content/early/2012/07/18/rccm.201110-1868OC.abstract)


Anonymous said...

in this day and age please define "SMOKER" as cigarette or pot, there are very few studies that show damage from pot smoking, its all the chemicals in cigarettes that do the damage

Todd from Ecigz.net said...

I think, smoker does not only need Vitamin D. They also need a psychiatrist to explain them how harmful cigarettes are to their bodies and health. Since smokers are prone to permanent lung damage then they badly need Vitamin D.

LifeExtension said...

Todd from Ecigz.net - That's a thought!

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