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Buying Erectile Dysfunction at the 7-11

Published: June 1, 2010

For young men, cigarette smoking still manages a certain allure. Despite the government’s attempts to censor tobacco company ads aimed at minors, young people are still smoking in un-healthy numbers. Per the National Youth Tobacco Survey 12% of middle school kids, and over a third of high school students used some form of tobacco in the month before the survey. Many of these go on to smoke as adults. Virtually everyone who smokes cigarettes recognizes that they are dangerous. Lung cancer, emphysema, and cardiac problems are not foreign concepts to America’s youth; but like old age they just to be issues for a distant future that might never happen anyway. What these young smokers need to grasp is that while a chronic hack at age 80 might not seem like a pressing problem – failure to get an erection at age 30 might impinge on their lifestyle in a big way, and within a time frame that is real.

Puffing away with pals might be a tad less care-free if one moves from “Smoking might take a few years off my life, but who wants to live until 90 anyway?” to “It’d be a shame if I flopped in the bedroom with that brunette I like…. because I smoke.”

Recent studies may wake young people from their torpor by focusing on exactly this issue. Smoking may have a fairly immediate effect on young males – one with major physiological, and social consequences. A recent study in The American Journal of Epidemiology shows that the more you light up, the harder it could be to get-it-up. Yes, cigarette smoking may lead to erectile dysfunction. A trend was clear among study participants. Men who smoked had a higher risk of developing erectile dysfunction compared to men who did not. And the risks are dose dependant – increasing with the number of cigarettes smoked.

The study also indicted further bad news for nicotine fiends – former smokers were at a greater risk of developing ED compared to men who had had never smoked. Worst of all, when compared to men in other age categories, it was younger smokers who were at a higher relative risk for developing erectile dysfunction. This data has been corroborated in other studies, including one presented in Tobacco Control, which used an even larger sample size of men from many different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. Such studies show a clear correlation between cigarettes and ED. What they did not determine, however, was the physiological cause behind the relationship. Suggestions have been made, both atherosclerosis (plaque build-up) in blood vessels and a change in the release of sex hormones have been proposed as possible mechanisms explaining this correlation.

Regardless of the cause erectile dysfunction from smoking must be seen as an immediate, negative physiological effect, in an area that just about everyone cares about – young males especially. The punch line here is that young smokers may find a threat of heart disease or cancer forty years down the road inconsequential – we all tend to think we are invulnerable when young – the impendence of impotence, however, might cause young males to re-think their relationship with cigarettes