How does Smoking Affect Men’s Sexual Health?

Aside from the social whiff and bad habits that accompany smoking, there are other health problems smokers are prone to. Some of these include bad breath, colored teeth, and the choking body stench. Smoking leaves behind substances that damage both your mental and physical health.

Perhaps, there was a time when men who smoked occasionally were seen as cool guys with a rich backlog of connectivity; however, studies have shown that smoking has a lot to do negatively with men’s sexual and overall well-being.

Over the years, doctors and medical professionals have strongly advised men who had become addicted to quit smoking. All forms of addictions are compulsive behaviors that are very unhealthy and, as such, need to be discouraged, smoking inclusive. 

Though tobacco has been said to have some health benefits, they are insignificant compared to the health diseases attached.  As such, you are warned against smoking cigarettes or tobacco, etc. 

In this article, you will learn about how smoking can affect your sex drive and how it can lead to certain sexual diseases like erectile dysfunction, among other things. 

Does smoking really affect your sexual health?

Keep reading to find out. 


Effects of smoking on your sex life

Smoking is known to cause several diseases such as cancer, heart and lung diseases, diabetes, stroke, asthma, etc. Smoking is also known to increase the chances of having tuberculosis, eye diseases, immune system problems, etc. 

What you probably don’t know is that smoking also affects your sexual health and fertility.

“Smoking has a direct, negative effect on the sexuality of a man on every level,” says Panayiotis M. Zavos, Ph.D., director of the Andrology Institute of America and professor of reproductive physiology and andrology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington (1).

It has been shown that smoking affects the blood vessels that take blood to your penis to have and maintain strong erections.

The following are ways smoking can affect your sexual health.


1. Smoking and erectile dysfunction (ED)

Man with Erectile Dysfunction

According to research, smoking is known to cause erectile dysfunction (ED)  (impotence). It’s been discovered that erectile problems are more common and worse in men who smoke than non-smokers because smoking interferes with the flow of blood and your penis needs blood to be erect.

It reduces the element nitric oxide, which plays an important role in having erections. It also damages the muscle in your penis responsible for erection. In fact, smoking can cause erectile dysfunction in men right from age 20 (2). 

Though there are several causes of ED, smoking increases your chance of having erectile problems.


How do you know you have ED?

When you have erectile dysfunction, you will observe that it becomes very difficult to get strong erections, and even when you do get one, it barely lasts. 

If you have a smoking habit and erectile dysfunction problems, your ED might probably be caused by your smoking habit. Extreme smoking can lead to permanent loss of penile erections. 


Can ED be cured?

According to researchers, not all damages are permanent; some erectile dysfunctions can be cured. There is currently mounting evidence that some damage is reversible if smoking is stopped before middle age and is not restarted (3).


 2. Smoking and other sexual diseases 

As already stated, smoking can cause other sexual diseases aside from erectile dysfunction. 

  • Smoking weakens your immunity, leaving you vulnerable and exposed to all forms of diseases, including sexual diseases.
  • Sexual infections and Peyronie’s disease can be triggered by smoking.

If you smoke and have any of these diseases, it is very likely that they may not be treatable with drugs and exercise. At this point, you should know that smoking is killing your sex life, and it might be time to give it up.


3. Smoking reduces libido

Smoking has been known to affect what happens in the other room. It generally affects your sexual desire and your sexual prowess.


Have you ever experienced a sudden layoff in your sexual desires? 

Has the fire in your sex life turned ice?

Or do you no longer have a thrill for sheets?

Or are you suddenly disgusted by the thought of sex?


Well, smoking can increase carbon monoxide levels in your body, which inhibits testosterone production, ultimately bringing down your libido (4). 

Cigarettes and tobacco have a high level of nicotine which has been reported to affect men’s sexual arousal. Your hormones can grow cold, making it harder for you to want sex. Most cases of very low libido are a result of smoking. It is really hard for smokers to have sexual desires. Though some try to by using sex pills, they are easily worn out before they take effect. 


Read our article on how sex pills can adversely affect your health if not taken with due prescriptions from a reputable and certified doctor. 


4. Smoking can affect how long you last in bed 

Do you find yourself unable to go through a single round not to talk of a couple of rounds? 

Or do you now find it hard to experience an orgasm even while having a quickie or a blow job?

The shower sex now wears you out, and you are wondering why.

Recent research shows that continuous smoking not only reduces your libido but, it also makes it harder for you to keep diving into that sea of passion.

Smoking affects your sex experience with your partner. You can experience a sudden loss of strength after taking a couple of drags; no matter how high you get, this drag also follows you to the bedroom.

Smoking affects your lungs, making it harder for your body to take oxygen, affecting your energy level, and causing loss of breath during sex.

So, if you find yourself always losing stamina or easily running out of breath, you should keep the lighter away.


Smoking and your reproductive health

picture describes how cigarettes causes sexual dysfunction.

Aside from your sexual health, smoking is also known to affect your reproductive health. Constant smoking has been said to cause damage to the reproductive system as well as unborn babies.


1. Infertility

The ED mentioned above also causes infertility. When ED is untreated, it leads to permanent impotence. 

Smoking has been linked to causing fertility challenges in:


  • Sperm DNA

 Smoking causes some damage to the DNA of your sperm. It also causes you to have abnormal hormone levels, which directly affects fertility. A DNA-damaged sperm causes problems with embryo development and implantation. It also increases the chances of miscarriage.


  • Sperm shape

Your sperm can be deformed as a result of heavy smoking. Oddly shaped sperm lack the ability to swim fast enough to fertilize the egg. A smoker has an increased number of deformed sperm. 


  • Sperm motility

 This refers to the swimming ability of the sperm. When you smoke incessantly, your sperm can become immobile, making the sperm unable to swim and fertilize the egg.


  • Sperm count 

Heavy smoking reduces the numbers of sperm your body produces and, over time, makes it impossible for your sperm to move, and when your sperm don’t move, you can’t get your partner pregnant. 

IVF may also not yield good results if you have compulsive smoking habits.


2. Complications in newborns 

Researchers found an increased rate of birth defects in children of male smokers.

As a smoker, you may not face infertility challenges, but there is a high tendency that your habitual smoking could cause deformation in your child due to the altered DNA of the sperm (3).


3. Does smoking affect your partner?

Second-hand smokers are known to be more affected by smoking. Although your partner may not be a smoker, as a second-hand smoker, she is just as affected as a smoking female.

Exposure to the stench ashy smell of smoked tobacco could make her have a deformed or an underweighted child or a child that is vulnerable to diseases such as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or asthma (1).

She could also birth a child with a low sperm count. Exposure to the smell of your smoke can also increase your partner’s tendency to have menopause at an earlier age.


Why you should quit smoking

Let’s get this clear.  When detected early, some of the above problems could be solved or reversed. By stopping the smoking habit, you can get your sexual health back. 

Quitting smoking can improve the following areas of your life:


1. Fertility

Since one major factor causing ED is sex. A permanent withdrawal from the stick will get your penis back in order.

You also get to have more fertile sperm. Your swimmers get to dive in good shape.


2. Faster arousal

With the chemicals left behind from smoking out of your system, you get to be horny once again. You’re no longer appalled by sex. The mere thought of sex starts to fill you with more thrill.

By stopping smoking, your sexual appetite and arousal return gradually.


3. Better sexual experience

Since smoking reduces your energy and penile erection, not smoking would do the reverse. 

Recent studies show that cessation of smoking improves sexual performance a great deal.

Quit smoking, and you get your energy restored. You get to ride for a  longer time without getting exhausted easily. No more breath loss or just a little.


4. Your partner gets to enjoy the juice too

Now that you’ve quit smoking, you can both have a great sex life without complaints. 

With the obstacle of the fired-up stick out of the way, you both get to tango, enjoying every bit of the dance, and get to bond more tightly.


Have you tried quitting, but you find yourself addicted and buying more cigarette packs? We advise you to try getting help.


Getting help

Young sad mad sitting in regret

Quitting smoking can be quite difficult but not impossible. 

With the right help, you stand a chance at a faster and effective recovery.

Where to get help:


  • Health care provider

Your doctor or urologist could help you through the process and provide you with meds to improve your health.


  • Support groups

Join an active support group to keep you in check by reminding you of your decision. They also provide psychological exercises that speed up the cessation process.

While on the road to accomplishing this, constantly undergo exercise and eat properly. Also, never forget the role of family and friends; they make the burden lighter (2).



There’s nothing sexy about smoking. Ironically, despite the sexy themes used by tobacco and cigarette companies, there’s absolutely nothing about smoking that boosts your sexual life.

So, bear in mind that there are sexual side effects of smoking. Though they do not affect your lifespan, they can affect your overall health and especially your procreation.

Though it is hard to quit, with the right help, such as support groups and a great health provider, you are on a journey to perfect sexual health and overall well-being.