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Research underlines link between smoking and erectile dysfunction

Friday 24 March, 2006

Research published in Tobacco Control, has revealed that smokers are over-represented among the 1 in 10 Australian men who report experiencing erectile dysfunction.

A research team from Sydney analysed responses of over 8000 men aged between 16 and 59 who were taking part in the Australian Study of Health and Relationships, finding that men who smoke a pack or more of cigarettes daily are 40 per cent more likely to be impotent than non-smokers.

When compared with non-smokers, those who smoked 20 or fewer cigarettes a day were 24 per cent more likely to report difficulties maintaining an erection.

Executive Director of Quit Victoria, Mr Todd Harper says the finding is consistent with existing research on the effect of smoking on men's sexual health.

"Smoking can really put a dampener on your sex life, yet data from The Cancer Council Victoria shows 99.9% of people remain largely unaware of the relationship between smoking and impotence."

"Male smokers can experience a range of sexual health problems associated with their smoking, including erectile dysfunction, lower sperm counts, impaired sperm mobility and an increase in abnormally shaped sperm."

"Just as smoking decreases blood flow to the heart, it also decreases the flow of blood to the penis, and this can result in ‘smokers droop'."

Mr Harper said evidence shows that even smokers who are not experiencing trouble getting an erection today are likely to experience weaker and less frequent erections the longer they smoke.

"The best way for smokers to reduce the risk that smoking may cause them short – or long – term problems with their sexual health is to quit."

"The earlier men quit smoking, the greater their chance of preventing or recovering from this problem," said Mr Harper.

ends

Edwina Vellar,
Media Manager
ph: (03) 9635 5400
mob: 0417 303 811
email:
Edwina.Vellar@cancervic.org.au

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