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Can Smoking Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Wednesday 8 December 2021
Erectile Dysfunction
4 minute(s) read

Table of Contents


I. The Cost of Smoking

II. How does Smoking Affect the Body?

III. What about Marijuana & Erectile Dysfunction?

IV. Lifestyle Changes to Combat ED Symptoms


The Cost of Smoking

Many factors can cause erectile dysfunction, including your lifestyle habits. According to a study published through the National Institutes of Health, smoking is the leading cause of death in the United States. Smoking is less prevalent today, but research has found that 20 percent of middle-aged men still smoke cigarettes.

Erectile dysfunction becomes more likely as men grow older, but your symptoms may occur earlier or grow more severe if you smoke. Around 52 percent of men aged 40-70 experience varying degrees of ED. [1]  If you cannot get an erection sufficient enough for sexual intercourse, you may want to contact your doctor to discuss a treatment plan.

Your doctor will likely inquire about your habits and lifestyle, as factors like smoking, alcohol use, and obesity can increase your risk of ED. If deemed appropriate, your doctor may prescribe ED medications like Cialis (tadalafil) and Viagra (sildenafil). Your doctor will let you know how to take Viagra to combat your ED symptoms.

Medications can be incredibly beneficial to ED symptoms, but you may need to change some of your habits if you have physical health conditions caused by cigarette use. Read on to learn more about the effect of smoking on erectile dysfunction.

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How does Smoking Affect the Body?

Smoking affects virtually every part of the human body. Cigarette smoking is also the leading cause of morbidity as well. Morbidity refers to the condition of suffering from a disease. Smoking significantly increases the chance of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, lung diseases, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals that may increase plaque formation in the blood vessels. If your vascular system is affected by smoking, blood cannot flow properly to the brain, heart, and eventually the penis.

The substances in cigarettes cause swelling and inflammation in the cells that line the blood vessels. Inflammation and plaque build-up can narrow the blood vessels, making it difficult for blood to reach every area of the body. When a man is aroused, blood rushes to the penis to create an erection. If the blood vessels cannot get enough blood to the penis, erectile dysfunction may occur.

What about Marijuana & Erectile Dysfunction?

Every year, more states are legalizing marijuana for recreational and medicinal use. It is well known that smoking cigarettes is an unhealthy habit, but there is less research associating smoking marijuana and ED. There are hundreds of marijuana studies being conducted, and more information on how marijuana affects ED will continue to come out.

Five controlled studies took place in the Middle East and two in Europe, and researchers observed 3,395 men across these studies. Together, these studies (published through the National Institutes of Health) found that ED is twice as high in cannabis users compared to control groups. [2]

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Scientists believe this higher rate of ED is because cannabis use binds endocannabinoids to the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates ED function and sexual behavior in males. This interaction also explains the improved sexual function in some patients, especially those who experience depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.

This is one of the first meta-analyses on marijuana and ED, so more research is needed to determine definitive connections between cannabis and sexual dysfunction. As of now, there is no consensus, and more studies are needed.

Lifestyle Changes to Combat ED Symptoms

Smoking is an incredibly addictive habit and may take several months to quit fully. You may depend on cigarettes, but you will only benefit from kicking the habit for good. Your lungs will improve almost instantly, and your risk for dangerous health conditions also decreases. Along with these benefits, you may notice a boost to your sex life. Your blood vessels will improve, and you may experience erections more easily.

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The role of cannabis use and ED is still unclear, but if you notice your cannabis habit is affecting your sex life, you may want to limit your usage. ED is projected to affect nearly 322 million worldwide by 2025, so the risk factors for ED will become more clear as time goes on. If you feel addicted to marijuana and need assistance limiting your usage or quitting, you can talk to your doctor for treatment options.

If you decide to quit smoking, your ED symptoms may not disappear overnight, but you can significantly improve your overall health and prolong your life. Once you eliminate the physical causes of ED, your doctor can teach you how to get the maximum effect from Cialis if you are still having trouble achieving an erection. You can visit Canadian Med Center to save money on erectile dysfunction medications today. [2]  

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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