Smoking And Sexual Health: Know Its Harmful Effects And Ways To Control It

Medically reviewed by Maria Sarino, MD FACT CHECKED

Smoking is a significant risk factor for several health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

But did you know that smoking can also impact your sexual health? For example, smoking can cause erectile dysfunction in men and lead to infertility in both men and women.

Worldwide, smoking is considered one of the primary ways one could destroy their sexual life. In addition, smoking can cause other problems, such as premature births and low birth weight babies.

If you are concerned about your sexual health, you should quit smoking. Several resources are available to help you stop, so there is no excuse not to try.

Smoking & Sexual Health

Smoking is a well-known risk factor for numerous health conditions, including sexual health problems.

The link between smoking and sexual health is complex, but it is clear that smoking can have a negative impact on sexual health in both men and women.

Smoking damages blood vessels and affects blood flow. This can lead to problems with erections and sexual arousal.

Smoking also increases the risk of other health problems that can affect sexual health, such as heart disease and diabetes.

In addition, the toxins in tobacco smoke can damage the lining of the vagina, making it more sensitive to infections.

The Harmful Effects Of Smoking On Sexual Health

Here are some of the ways smoking can harm your sexual health-

  • Smoking Can Lower Your Libido

    Smoking has been shown to lower your libido, making it harder to get in the mood for sex. This is because smoking damages blood vessels and decreases blood flow to the genitals.

  • Smoking Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction

    The chemicals in cigarettes can damage the blood vessels, including the vessels that carry blood to the penis. This can make it difficult to get and maintain an erection.

  • Smoking Can Cause Vaginal Dryness

    Vaginal dryness is a common problem that can occur for a variety of reasons. But one of the most common causes is smoking.

    When you smoke, the chemicals in cigarettes can damage the delicate tissues in your vagina, resulting in dryness, irritation, and even pain during sex.

  • Smoking Can Lead To Early Menopause

    There are a few possible explanations for this. First, smoking can damage the ovaries and reduce estrogen levels.

    This can lead to early menopause in some women. Second, smoking can also affect the way the body metabolizes hormones.

  • Smoking Can Increase The Risk of STDs

    Smoking damages the lining of the mouth, throat, and genital areas, making it easier for bacteria and viruses to enter the body, giving rise to various infections. 

    It could also decrease the amount of oxygen in the blood, which can make it harder for the body to fight off infections.

The Benefits Of Quitting Smoking For Sexual Health

Quitting smoking can have several benefits for sexual health, including-

  • Improved Circulation

    Quitting smoking can help to reverse smoking’s health damage and improve your circulation.

    Within just a few months of quitting, your risk of developing atherosclerosis begins to decrease.

    Your arteries also begin to widen, which makes it easier for blood to flow through them. These changes can improve your circulation and overall cardiovascular health.

  • Increased Stamina

    When you quit smoking, your body begins to repair the damage caused by cigarettes. This process starts within minutes of your last cigarette.

    Quitting smoking has been shown to improve stamina, both in short-term and long-term smokers.

  • The Enhanced Sense of Smell And Taste

    When you quit smoking, your sense of smell and taste begins to improve. This is because the nicotine in cigarettes dulls these senses.

    By quitting smoking, you may notice that foods taste better and that you can smell things more clearly. This is a great benefit of quitting smoking, as it can help you enjoy life more and eat healthier.

  • Improved Elasticity Of The Skin

    Smoking decreases the production of collagen and elastin, two proteins that are essential for skin health. This can lead to premature aging of the skin, as well as a decrease in its elasticity.

    Quitting smoking can have a positive impact on the skin, improving its elasticity and reversing some of the damage caused by smoking.

  • Reduced Risk Of Cancer

    Cigarette smoking is linked to many types of cancer, including cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, lungs, bladder, cervix, and kidney.

    Leukemia risk also goes up as a result. Quitting smoking might reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases caused by smoking.

    People who stop smoking before age 50 reduce their risk of dying from smoking-related diseases by about half.

    Any age can benefit from quitting smoking because it can restore years of life that would otherwise be lost.

How To Quit Smoking For Better Sexual Health

There are a few organic remedies you can do to improve your sexual health is to stop smoking if you currently do so. Here are some tips to help you quit smoking for good:

  • Make a plan and choose a date to stop: Making a plan is a great place to start. Decide when you want to quit and make a commitment to stick to it. Choose a date and start preparing for life as a nonsmoker.

  • Get rid of all cigarettes and ashtrays from your home, car, and office: If you smoke, it’s important to get rid of all cigarettes and ashtrays from your home, car, and office. This will help you avoid temptation and reduce the chances of a relapse. You should also avoid places where people smoke, such as bars and restaurants.


  • Avoid smoking triggers, such as drinking alcohol or being around other smokers:  A trigger is anything that makes you want to smoke, and it can be different for everyone. Common triggers include drinking alcohol, being around other smokers, and feeling stressed. With a little effort, you can successfully avoid smoking triggers and stay on track to quitting for good.


  • Find a replacement for smoking, such as chewing gum or taking breaks to walk outside: Chewing gum and taking breaks to walk outside are popular substitutes for smoking. Both of these options can help to curb your cravings and give you something to do with your hands and mouth.


  • Find family, friends, or a support group to turn to for assistance: Family and friends can be great sources of support, and there are also many support groups available to help you quit smoking for good. They can provide you with emotional support and encouragement as you go through the process of quitting smoking.

Bottom Line

Smoking is a serious health hazard that can have negative consequences on sexual health.

It can lead to erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and reduced sexual arousal. It can also damage the reproductive organs and lead to infertility.

If you smoke, you should take steps to quit to improve your sexual health.

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