When you think of smoking and sexual wellbeing, you probably imagine that post-coital cigarette that occurs in almost every movie. However, according to a wealth of research, your 20-a-day may be damaging to your sexual health, as there’s a strong link between smoking and impotence.
Any wellness expert will tell you that smoking has a negative impact on your cardiovascular system, as it causes plaque to build up in your arteries. As you’re probably aware, you need good blood flow in order to get an erection, but this becomes more difficult when you’re arteries are packed with plaque. Even if you don’t smoke personally, second hand smoking can also lead to erectile dysfunction, so hanging out with or even dating someone who smokes may, in the long run, really dampen your sex life.
However, this is more than a simple matter of blood flow; in order to have a healthy sex life your nervous system needs to coordinate with your hormones, as well as mental stimulation, and smoking also gets in the way of this. Aside from the fact that arterial build up can lead to stroke, heart attacks or diabetes, long-term smoking means you’re almost certain to have moderate to severe erectile dysfunction (ED). Studies have shown that men who smoke consistently throughout the day have the softest erections at night. The question is; will the ED go away if you quit smoking?
According to a study carried out by researchers at the University of Hong-Kong Schools of public health and nursing, 53.8% of men who quit smoking experienced a noticeable improvement in their sexual function. These quitters were 91.5% more likely to reduce their ED than men who did not quit – you can’t really argue with those odds! As a result of this study, the researchers turned to the government and asked them to change the “smoking may cause erectile dysfunction” labels on cigarette packets to “smoking causes erectile dysfunction”. This is because they believe men who suffer with impotence can experience quick and effective results from quitting. So, if lighting up is preventing you from getting it up, consult your doctor and look online for resources to help you quit.