Before you light up an e-cigarette, think again. A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that healthy men, ages 20 to 65, who vape nicotine daily had twice the rate of erectile dysfunction (ED) as men who do not use e-cigarettes.
While this study only shows an association and does not prove cause and effect, it’s the first study to draw a possible connection between vaping and ED. Previous studies have already shown a link between cigarette smoking, nicotine and ED. Now e-cigarettes are under scrutiny for making the love life of men more lackluster than necessary.
What are electronic cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) were invented in 2003 and are known by many names: e-cigs, e-hookahs, vapes, vape pens, tank systems, or mods. Some looks like a real cigarette while others look quite a bit different. E-cigarettes were designed to help people addicted to regular cigarettes, kick the habit. But questions have been raised on their efficacy for this purpose. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are in the process of evaluating and approving various e-cigarette brands requiring companies to show data on how their products accomplish that result.
Just like real cigarettes, e-cigarettes usually contain nicotine even though some claim to be nicotine-free. Besides the addictive nicotine, e-cigarettes may also contain propylene glycol, glycerin, flavorings, and other chemicals harmful to the lungs and may lead to cancer. While e-cigarettes may be less harmful than regular cigarettes, this does not mean they are harmless.
For this study, data, collected from a larger longitudinal study called PATH (Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health) from December 2016 to January 2018. PATH has asked a range of questions using a nationally U.S. representative sample of almost 46,000 adults over the age of 18. One question, just for men 20 and older, was concerning frequency of ED. Only 13,711 men responded by answering the question. From this group of men, 20.7% reported experiencing ED and 4.8% reported vaping with 2.1% vaping daily. The interesting finding was that men who vaped daily were 2.24 times more likely to have ED compared to men who never vaped.
Even after men with a history of smoking regular cigarettes, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease were excluded, the researches still found a very strong and significant association between vaping and ED. However, for men who had some history of heart disease, there was more than three times the risk for ED.
Concerns between e-cigarettes and ED
So what is the connection between e-cigarette appearing to cause ED? It’s theorized that nicotine is the main culprit. That’s because once this substance is absorbed into a man’s bloodstream, it reduces the ability of arteries to get larger and to dilate. This inhibits a man’s ability to achieve an erection. Good blood flow is required in order for the penis to become erect for sexual intercourse.
Another theory researchers surmised from this study is that the chemicals used in the refill liquids for vaping can lower testosterone levels. Low testosterone levels not only lead to ED but also lead a lower libido in men.
Men, who smoke regular cigarettes, have the same issues. Because of nicotine and thousands of other chemicals, smoking cigarettes can have the same effect on men of higher rates of ED and low sex drive as well as a greater risk of causing cancer – particularly lung cancer – when compared to men who do not smoke.
Any man who wants to have a fulfilling and satisfying sex life, should absolutely refrain from vaping or any other form of tobacco/nicotine use. None of these products are worth the price a man will pay by shutting down his sex life.
Men, who take care of their body by fueling it with healthy foods, participating in regular exercise, taking steps to reduce stress, and getting sufficient sleep, can be sexually active for years to come. And be so much healthier for doing so too.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncolo gy and prostate cancer 911.