Smoking is an oft-derided “habit” because it is seen by millions to be a filthy practice that also has a number of life-threatening side effects. Recent studies may bring cause for one more effect to be added to the list: erectile dysfunction. The findings are very alarming, because even otherwise healthy males experience an incredible increase in risk.
smoking, sexual impotence, side effects
Smoking is a habit that is enjoyed by millions around the world, despite being generally known as a potentially serious health risk. There are several negative effects of tobacco on the body, not the least of which is the increased risk of lung cancer. Despite all of the warnings coming from every possible angle, including the Japanese anime industry and Hollywood getting in on the act, most people still prefer to smoke. However, for the modern male that is obsessed with traditionally masculine aspects such as virility, one reason to give up the habit might be the risk of sexual impotence. That is, if the findings of a recently concluded study by the Tulane University School of Public Health is accurate in its analysis.
Dr. Jiang He, head of the research team, said that the “association between cigarette smoking and erectile dysfunction was found in earlier studies.” However, he pointed out that other potential causes of sexual impotence were found in the test subjects, such as hypertension, depression, diabetes, and a number of cardiovascular diseases. He stated that while his study dealt with the same problem, he believed that there was a key difference between his research and what has come before. Unlike previous studies, which did not exclude potential test subjects based on health grounds, Dr. Jiang He's research team specifically picked out men who were in good physical condition apart from their smoking. That, in theory, can go much further than previous studies in showing the link between impotence and smoking.
The research confirms that men who smoke are more likely to experience problems like erectile dysfunction than other men, though the 41% statistic is much higher than what the research team initially projected during preliminary tests. There is ample evidence to make the assumption that this is a standard “cause and effect” response, with the effects varying depending on the “dose” of nicotine introduced into the system over a given period. For example, a man who smoked 10 cigarettes a day came in with an increase of 27% risk of erectile dysfunction compared to normally healthy men. Men who had 11 to 20 exhibited an almost 40% increase in risk. The data was similar for men who smoked more than 20 in a day, with the percentage of risk going up with each stick added. This, combined with the cardiovascular and respiratory side effects of habitual smoking and factors such as psychology and emotional state, made for an incredible risk.
The study estimated that 22.7% of all cases of erectile dysfunction – roughly 11.8 million men – are caused by smoking. The study further discovered that quitting did not decrease the risks faced by long-time smokers, with the statistics showing that there was no difference if the subject was still a smoker or if they had already quit. Age did not appear to be a factor as well, with young men just as likely to develop erectile dysfunction due to smoking in middle-aged or older men. This is among men who were otherwise in excellent health, with the researchers conceding that if the subjects had been in poorer health, the numbers would likely have been much higher.