Make The Connection - Stop Smoking To Prevent Erectile Dysfunction

By: Brian Welsch

The negative effects of smoking are hardly a mystery. Nearly everybody knows that smoking can cause many health problems, including cancer, tuberculosis, and emphysema. However, there are other consequences of this nasty habit that are not as widely known. One such consequence is erectile dysfunction. The connection between smoking and erectile dysfunction has grown more and more clear over the past several years, and today it is impossible to deny the evidence that smoking can lead to this health problem. If you need another reason to quit smoking, consider erectile dysfunction to be it!

A Widespread Problem

Most people think of erectile dysfunction as a condition that only affects older men--but this is wrong. About 30 million Americans have erectile dysfunction, and while it mostly affects older men, younger men can be affected as well. However, most of the younger men who experience erectile dysfunction do so because of smoking .

Individual Characteristics

Even before the connection was made between smoking and erectile dysfunction , health experts identified a shared characteristic between the two. Both smoking and erectile dysfunction were associated separately with the build up of plaque within the arteries. This phenomenon is called atherosclerosis, and it occurs when plaque (often from cigarettes) blocks the flow of blood through the vessels. This in turn causes a wide variety of circulatory problems. Scientists believe that atherosclerosis can cause erectile dysfunction by damaging the blood vessels in the penis.

Proving The Point

Numerous studies have been done to prove the connection between smoking and erectile dysfunction, and the data is very convincing. One study concluded that men who smoked at least twenty cigarettes every day were 60% more at risk than non-smokers to develop erectile dysfunction. Current and former male smokers were about 30% more likely to become impotent, according to the study.

On the other hand, only 12% of men who had never smoked had ever experienced any form of erectile dysfunction. Overall, the study (which was completed in China) concluded that about 22% of erectile dysfunction cases in China could be attributed to smoking . Studies in the United States and in Australia have come to similar conclusions. Now, most health experts agree: you are twice more likely to experience erectile dysfunction if you are a smoker than if you do not smoke at all. Also, a direct correlation exists between the amount of cigarettes and amount of time you have smoked, and the likelihood that you will experience erectile dysfunction.

Making up Excuses

Because smoking is not the sole cause of erectile dysfunction , it is easy to come up with reasons why it is not entirely necessary to quit. Alcohol, medication, and stress can also play a role in erectile dysfunction. However, because smoking has other health consequences too, it is in your best interest to break the bad habit now.

But can quitting really prevent erectile dysfunction or make it better? Studies are inconclusive about this question. In most situations, a man who had been smoking for a long time had already damaged his arteries too much for quitting to have any effect. For this reason, it is best for men to never start smoking at all, or at the very least to quit as soon as possible.

A Newfound Motivation

It can be difficult to work up the will to quit an addiction like smoking, but hopefully the fact that this habit has been linked to erectile dysfunction will only serve as another motivating factor. Erectile dysfunction is not a fatal disorder. However, it can compromise your quality of life, giving you all the more reason to quit the habit that could be causing it.

Original article source: Stop Smoking To Prevent Erectile Dysfunction

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