The popular hero after vanquishing a bunch of villains, stylishly tosses up a cigarette in the air, catches it with his mouth and lights it with a match stick rubbing it against the villains head.  This bollywood fantasy catches the fancy of millions.  If you are among them think twice.  Your sex life will receive the same fate as the villains.How Smoking Affects Your Sex Life

Dr. John Spangler’s study at Wake Forest University Baptists Medical Centre established that people who smoke are 26 times more likely to have Erectile Dysfunction.  Smokers in their thirties and fortys have an increased risk. 

The Tobacco in a cigarette burning at 60˚c produces about 400 toxins.  The most notorious among them are Tar, Nicotine and Carbon Monoxide.  Nicotine is addictive and hence hooks on the smokers. 

Erection can occur only when adequate blood can flow freely into the penis.  For this the health of the blood vessel has to be good.  A network of blood vessels keeps all our organs functional by supplying them with nourishment and oxygen.  These blood vessels are lined internally with Endothelium. Endothelium is the seat of many chemical reactions which ultimately determine the amount of blood flowing through the arteries and there by into the organs.  When this endothelium is damaged it can not relax and allow sufficient blood to flow through it.  Not only that, the damaged endothelium is more prone to develop plaques, clots, thus narrowing the lumen of the blood vessels.  Nicotine hardens the arteries by damaging their endothelium.  Smoking also raises the blood pressure.

This injurious Endothelial Damaging process responsible for erection problems can also damage the coronary arteries in the heart.

The effect of this insufficient blood supply will be first felt in the penis before the dysfunctional heart starts showing symptoms.  This is because the diameter of the penile arteries is just 1-2mm, whereas the coronary artery diameter is 3 to 4mm.

In others words Erectile Dysfunction has become a predictor of future heart problems.

Smoking affects woman’s sexual health too.  By narrowing the blood vessels in the vagina it adversely affects adequate lubrication, making sex a painful chore. Again by reducing blood flow to the clitoris, its engorgement is affected and consequently a woman’s ability to reach orgasm is jeopardized.

Friends, think twice before you light the next cigarette.  Your sex life may go up in smoke.

Tips for Smokers:

Choose what you want: Sex, or Tobacco.

Quit smoking.

Undergo Nicotine Replacement Therapy.

Seek the help of a Specialist in Deaddiction.


Dr D Narayana Reddy, MBBS, Ph.D, FACS is a well-known Sexologist from Chennai. He can be contacted at or visit