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3 ways tobacco use impacts your sex life

The tobacco industry works hard to make smoking seem sexy. Companies have long used sexual themes in tobacco advertising as a strategy for increasing the overall appeal of their products.

Sex ads collage

But, unfortunately for tobacco companies, reality isn’t on their side. Far from sexy, smoking can negatively affect a person’s sex life in big ways. Here are three of them.

1. Erectile dysfunction

Smoking damages blood circulation in many ways, leading to a host of related health problems including heart disease, heart attack and stroke. You can also add erectile dysfunction to the list.

An erection is only possible when blood vessels in the penis enlarge and fill with blood. Smoking disrupts blood vessels in that area of the body, meaning the action can’t always happen. In fact, smoking can cause erectile dysfunction in men as young as 20. Take it from truth®, which is spreading awareness of this health effect with an animated video called “Twinkle Twinkle.”

2. Decreased libido

While more research is needed, a few studies have suggested a link between nicotine and a lower sex drive in men.

3. Infertility

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine warns that tobacco use can negatively affect fertility in both men and women. According to the organization, male and female smokers have about double the rate of infertility found in nonsmokers. 

Smoking is linked to fertility challenges in several ways. Smoking damages the DNA in eggs and sperm, which can cause problems with fertility. In addition, women who smoke can also have a shorter window for getting pregnant because the chemicals in tobacco products, including nicotine, cyanide and carbon monoxide, accelerate the loss of eggs and cause smokers to experience menopause earlier than nonsmokers. The aforementioned erectile dysfunction can also contribute to failure to conceive.

Read about more unexpected health effects of smoking.