Smoking And ED: Can Smoking Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

smoking and ed

In this article, we’ll discuss the link between smoking and ED.


‘Smoking is injurious to health’. You may have come across this warning gazillion times. If you’re a regular smoker, there is no surprise that you have made a conscious choice to blatantly ignore it every time you light up a cigarette. Smoking cigarettes, pipes, or cigars all have negative impacts on your body – both on the outside as well as inside. Increased risk of cancer, cardiac ailments, skin problems, etc. are all linked to smoking regularly.

But there’s more to it – your libido.

Smoking is known to adversely impact your reproductive health. Impotence or erectile dysfunction (ED) is a well-known and classic example.

ED or impotence, as we all are aware, is the difficulty in getting and sustaining an erection. Many factors both physical and psychological, are responsible for ED. Physical factors include existing medical issues and lifestyle, whereas things like depression, anxiety, and stress contribute to psychological factors.

It is important to note that erectile dysfunction is not a permanent medical condition in most cases. Fixing the root cause behind your ED along with some diet and lifestyle changes is the way to go when it comes to a long-term sustainable solution. For the situational issues, Viagra or any ED drug can temporarily relieve the symptoms.

Smoking And ED

Cigarettes contain an enormous amount of chemical compounds and carcinogens. These chemicals can wreak havoc on the body by daily exposure. Regular smoking is linked to all kinds of health conditions and impotence is one of the most common problems. While an occasional puff of your favorite Cuban cigar might not harm you, doing it regularly is a recipe for poor bodily functions and reproductive health.

How does it affect you? 

Cigars, pipe, and cigarettes all affect the body in the same manner. All of them contain a highly potent and addictive stimulant called nicotine. It is this substance that your brain gets addicted to, which only has you smoking more.

Nicotine and some of the chemicals contained in cigarettes act as vasoconstrictors, i.e. they clog or narrow down the blood vessels. Narrowed blood vessels can lead to angina and hypertension. Consequently, narrowed blood vessels in your penis and pelvic region will make it difficult for the blood to flow to the penis, resulting in ED.

1. Statistics

Studies show that there is a direct relation between the number of cigarettes one smokes and the severity of his ED. Findings show that men who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day on average, develop a higher chance, 60% to be exact, for erectile dysfunction in comparison to men who have never smoked. Among young men, smoking is one of the primary reasons for impotence. Add to that poor lifestyle choices and stress, and it becomes very difficult to be sexually aroused and have your reproductive system to abide by your requirements.

2. Nerve Blockage

Atherosclerosis is another outcome of regular smoking. The chemicals in cigarettes enter the bloodstream and clog the arteries and veins by causing plaque build-up. This proves to be an obstruction for blood flow and thus blood pressure problems arise. A plethora of circulatory problems is an outcome of smoking because of this very reason. Atherosclerosis is also an underlying factor for impotence in young men. The risk for ED increases as you age, so, it is better to quit if you are someone who smokes regularly.

3. Low Testosterone

Testosterone is the primary male hormone that helps men in hair growth, recovery, muscle growth, and finally their reproductive health. Smoking adversely affects testosterone production in the body. Consequently, this leads to a reduced sex drive and also impotence. If you are someone who is diagnosed with ED, smoking is only going to prolong your treatment, and may even make you dependent on pills like Viagra for having an erection. It has been proven that smoking worsens the symptoms of ED. So, you might want to consider quitting

Also Read: Can Masturbation Lead To Low Testosterone?

4. Other medical issues

ED is sometimes an outcome of more serious health complications like diabetes, hypertension, and cardiac issues like PAH (Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension). Smoking, on the other hand, is known to increase the risk of all the above conditions. Consequently, quitting tobacco consumption will help you fight ED and reduce the probability of being diagnosed with other health problems.

Tips To Quit Smoking

Smoking is highly addictive, and we understand that it can be tough to quit. Sometimes, it requires more than just the individual’s will power and decision to quit. Sometimes, a person requires mental support to break free from this vicious addiction. 

  • Friends and family – They are the closest people one has in their lives. The tough journey to quit can be quite a cakewalk if you ask for their support. They will make sure you stick to your commitment and help you quit smoking in no time.
  • Professional help – This is also a great choice to opt for if that is what you think is right for you. A therapist can help you deal with addiction. He or she can guide you and talk with you about methods you can use to make sure that you stick to your path. You may even be prescribed medications for the same.
  • Nicotine replacement drugs – These drugs are easily available over the counter and you can take them to control your cravings. Nicotine replacements are usually available in the form of patches and gums.
  • Hobbies – Cultivating new hobbies or developing a skill that you can add to your skillset is always a great idea. This will also keep you both physically and mentally occupied, taking your mind away from thoughts of smoking.

Smoking And ED: Conclusion

In summary, it can be said that smoking can prove to be a major cause of erectile dysfunction and other major health complications. However, if you are diagnosed with ED, abstinence from smoking can be of great help. Even taking a break from smoking has immediate health benefits. 

Depending upon the severity of your impotence symptoms, you will recover completely if you stay away from cigarettes and incorporate a few lifestyle changes along with proper medical attention. If you face difficulties in quitting, always seek help from your family or friends and even doctors, if required. Besides, smoking not only harms you but also those around you.