The Tobacco Reference Guide

by David Moyer, MD.

Chapter 12 Impotence

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Up to 10 million US men are impotent, and half of these cases are caused by

diabetes, alcohol, smoking, aging, and medication. In a study of 4500 US Army

Vietnam veterans ages 31 to 49, 2.2 percent of nonsmokers and 2 percent of former

smokers were impotent, compared with 3.7 percent of current smokers. An

Associated Press headline of December 2, 1994 read: "Joe Camel and Marlboro

Man Are Probably Not Studs."

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A group of Israeli doctors believes that the fear of impotence is stronger incentive for

their patients to give up smoking than is the fear of death. In a study of 886 smokers

suffering from impotence, 80% quit after they were encouraged to do so.

Tobacco Free Youth Reporter, Fall 1995, p. 23

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Smoking seriously reduces blood flow to the penis, in some instances causing


Cigarettes, p. 96

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Smoking just two cigarettes causes acute vasospasm of the penile arteries, and

smoking appears to at least double the risk of becoming impotent. In one study of

patients at an impotence clinic, 39% were diagnosed as having vascular impotence;

97% of those men smoked. In another study, 82% of men with vascular impotence

were smokers.

Cigarettes, p. 90

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Male smokers are about twice as likely as nonsmokers to suffer from impotence.

Reuters, November 5, 1998

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