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What impact does stopping smoking have on ED?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
When my male patients ask my advice for sexual problems, they're always surprised that I ask them if they smoke. For some, an after-coital smoke is part of the ritual, but the truth is that smoking is like a cold shower when it comes to sexual performance. Even if you have no damage to penile blood vessels or nerves from diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, or hypertension, the chemicals in tobacco can damage the cells lining blood vessels that affect smooth muscle relaxation and overall blood vessel health. So stopping smoking is key to getting your sex life back on track.
Smoking is a risk factor for cardiovascular (heart and vessel) disease and high blood pressure, and makes it more difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels. These health conditions -- or the medications that treat them -- can cause or contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED).

In addition, smoking damages blood vessels throughout the body by causing them to stiffen and narrow, which reduces blood flow to the penis needed for an erection. For these reasons, quitting smoking can improve your health overall and your ability to get and maintain an erection.  

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.