Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that cigarette smoke or nicotine is a risk factor for the progression of chronic kidney injury. The present study analyzed the kidney toxicity of cigarette smoke in experimental rats with DKD. Experimental diabetes was induced in 7-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats by a single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (60 mg kg-1). Four weeks after the induction of diabetes, rats were exposed to cigarette smoke (200 μg L-1), 4 h daily, and 5 days per week for 4 weeks. Cigarette smoke did not affect the levels of plasma glucose, hemoglobin A1c, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol or non-esterified fatty acids in both control and diabetic rats under the experimental conditions. Cigarette smoke, however, significantly increased diabetes-induced glomerular hypertrophy and urinary kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) excretion, suggesting exacerbation of diabetic kidney injury. Cigarette smoke promoted macrophage infiltration and fibrosis in the diabetic kidney. As expected, cigarette smoke increased oxidative stress in both control and diabetic rats. These data demonstrated that four weeks of exposure to cigarette smoke aggravated the progression of DKD in rats.