Relation Between Smoking and Erectile Dysfunction in Men

Erectile dysfunction or Impotence is directly related to tobacco smoking. ED in young men is most likely caused by smoking cigarettes.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) which is also called impotence is the powerlessness to make or keep an erection strong enough to penetrate for sexual intercourse.

Tobacco Smoking and Erectile Dysfunction or Impotence

Smoking can be described as breathing-in and out of smokes emanating from a burning tobacco in cigars, pipes, and cigarettes. Tobacco is known to have what is called nicotine (a toxic alkaloid) and some other dangerous constituents such as carbon (II) oxide CO, ammonia NH3, prussic acid, acrolein, aldehydes, and tars. It is one of the difficult habits to break.

There are many factors such as physical and psychological factors in their wide rages that can cause erectile dysfunction in men. One of the causes is known to be smoking because smoking has the capability to destroy blood vessels and arteries not to open well enough to allow free flow of blood. The World Health Organization always warn that smokers are liable to die young because of many health risks they exposing themselves to. Among many such diseases include heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular diseases, and pulmonary disease.

Medical research has consistently shown that smoking is most likely a major cause of Erectile Dysfunction (ED) ( Erectile Dysfunction Types and Causes As Explained in Ayurveda ). Erectile Dysfunction is also colloquially referred to as impotence ’ (a term of much wider import encompassing multifarious dysfunctions of the male reproductive system). Men who smoke over 20 cigarettes a day have a 60% higher risk of Erectile Dysfunction as compared to men who do not smoke. The Erectile Dysfunction becomes much more severe if the smokers also suffer from diabetes ( How to Prevent Diabetes – Ayurveda Tips ). Most people start smoking in their teenage and end up with a strong nicotine dependency that persists even in adulthood. Further, they are often unaware that smoking can cause Erectile Dysfunction in the later years of life.

Recent findings (1)have shown that there is a strong correlation between smoking and erectile dysfunction and males who completely quit smoking can have stronger, more rigid erections when compared to those who do not quit.

Do not let it cross your mind that Viagra will be of help. Recent findings had revealed that, for a rigid, stronger and quicker erection in men, smoking must be stopped.

This writes up tends to do justice to the correlation between smoking and erectile dysfunction (Read Ayurvedic Medicines and Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction ) in men and as well shed light on many reasons why you need to quit smoking because smoking can damage blood vessels and impede regular blood flow that can cause erectile dysfunction.

Signs of Erectile Dysfunction

Below are the signs and symptoms of erectile dysfunction:

How is Erection Possible?

Erection occurs when there is an increase in blood flow to the penis which is always stirred by sexual imaginations or physical touch with the penis. When stirred, the penis becomes relax and make way for increases blood flow via the penile arteries into the two chambers in the penis which is referred to as the corpora cavernosa.

As soon as the chambers become filled up, the penis becomes rigid. When the muscles contract and the accrued blood flow out via the penile veins, then erection become placid.

Consequent upon the above, erectile dysfunction happens when there is an issue at any stage of the process.

However, the chemicals present in cigarette have the capacity to destroy the blood vessels in men’s penis and affect its rigidity. The chemicals not only have adverse effects on the penis but also injure the kidneys, lung, brain, heart and many tissues in the entire body.

How does smoking affect sexual function and performance?

When a person smokes he inhales large amounts of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide deprives the voluntary muscles as well as vital organs such as brain, heart etc of oxygen. When these vital organs do not receive sufficient oxygen, they immediately lose their ability function efficiently and optimally. Principally, the heart has to work much harder to deliver oxygenated blood to all parts of the body. Naturally, this leads takes a toll on the supply of blood to the male genital organ as well. As full erection needs effective and optimum supply of blood, any inadequacy in blood supply leads to Erectile Dysfunction.

Nicotine in cigarettes, although regarded by smokers as a stimulant, only worsens the harmful effects of carbon monoxide by increasing heart rate and elevated blood pressure. There is a strong link between high blood pressure and Erectile Dysfunction .

Scientists have found that smoking leads to fat deposition in blood vessels. This reduces the inner circumference of blood vessels. Even elasticity of blood vessels diminishes as a result of sustained smoking. Thus arteries fail to supply adequate amount of blood to organs of body and male reproductive system is no exception to this inadequacy. This paves way for Erectile Dysfunction.

Additionally, the so-called ‘Low- Tar’ cigarettes are more harmful than their ‘regular’ counterparts due to physiological and psychological reasons. ‘Low-Tar’ cigarette smokers inhale more smoke and carcinogenic agents (caner causing agents) than regular cigarette smokers. Further, they are psychologically pre-disposed to smoking more cigarettes believing them to be less harmful that the regular ones. Thus ‘Low- Tar’ cigarettes cause more harm to body.

Although erectile dysfunction is not a life threatening condition, it certainly spoils the quality of life and can be a cause for much emotional and psychological turmoil. Thus it goes without saying that it is of paramount importance to stop smoking and embrace a healthy lifestyle to lead a quality sexual life.

Smoking ED and Male Infertility

Studies have shown that men who smoke cause more harm to their sperm than those who do not smoke. Smokers’ testes and accessory glands were observed to have inflammation which results in damaged sperm. This smoking habit negatively affects the healthy movement in the sperm that leads to increased DNA fragmentation in the sperm. (Read Male Infertility – Ayurvedic Ways to Increase Sperm Count and Motility

Smoking and Impotence facts (Impacts of Smoking on the Sexual Health)

Active smoking and in some instances passive smoking can cause erectile dysfunction. Smoking has the capacity to destroy healthy muscles in the penis which in-turn affect erectile functioning. This also can lead to a low libido.

Cigarette smoking has an adverse effect on the sex life of both men and women and brings about infertility. Also, there is this problem of having a reduction in the size of the penis.  Now, imagine the psychological effects it will have on someone who is used to having a larger size of a penis. There is the problem of infertility too.

Coping and Managing Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction has a demonstrative impact on the affected man and his partner. Men with this condition usually feel frustrated, sad, little or no confidence and furious let alone a partner who is being denied sexual pleasure. The good news is that erectile dysfunction or impotence can be treated.

Some of the steps in alleviating this issue include being honest, opening up to both your partner and the doctor. Communication is an essential tool in the analysis and management of the state of your health. There is a great need to always let your partner know how you are feeling for adequate support and assistance.

Also, note that you will require patience with self in your treatment and recovery process, having it in mind that individual response to treatment is relative.

Helpful Hints on How to Quit Smoking

The best decisive actions are always meant to be taken now. If you have been contemplating to stop smoking cigarettes, now is the best time to quit such a harmful habit. Researchers have confirmed it that smokers are at a higher risk of developing erectile dysfunction compared to nonsmokers.

There are a lot of immediate and long-term benefits of stopping such a harmful habit (smoking), one of such is improved blood circulation within your body systems.

Tips that will enhance your decision to stop smoking are:

  • Decisively select a date to quit smoking
  • Dispose of all materials and items associated with a cigarette from your environs.
  • Talk to your medical doctor for medications that can assist you to stop the smoking habit.
  • Avoid places, event, and people associated with smoking.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Go to places that forbid smoking
  • Keep in your memory the health benefits of stopping that harmful habit of smoking.
  • Avoid being idle by engaging yourself in doing something productive.
  • Confide in your family, friends, and co-workers telling them of your decision to stop smoking and solicit for their support.

Immediate Benefits of stopping to smoking are:

Believe me, the urge to indulge in that harmful habit will want to come back, take courage to deal with such and say NO to the urge again and again.

Transient Challenges of Quitting Smoking

There are some transient effects you feel in your body when you decide to stop smoking. Your body will definitely react to this sudden change because of denying him all the harmful substances that constitute cigarette. However, never mind all these effects because they are temporary and will surely fade away within 5 days. These effects include:


It has been established that smoking has an adverse effect on penile erection. Quitting this dangerous habit is a sure way for smokers to overcome the challenges of erectile dysfunction. A healthy lifestyle is a guaranteed way to prevent erectile dysfunction, in some cases it can normalize the condition. Always do regular exercise, consume a balanced diet, maintain normal weight, zero cigarettes, zero alcohol, minimize your stress and avoid high blood pressure.

Erectile dysfunction ( Erectile Dysfunction Types and Causes As Explained in Ayurveda ) is known to develop at any adult stage. But it tends to be common as men advance in age. Researchers have discovered that the fundamental problem of erectile dysfunction in younger men is most likely caused by inhalation from a cigarette.

People who smoke are at much higher risk of having erectile dysfunction compared to non-smokers. The level of damages done to your erectile function, your age and damage to other parts of the body can affect the level of erectile function reversibility when you quit smoking.

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Author: Dr.Savitha Suri , Consultant Ayurvedic Physician

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