Since we put them on nicotine, they’ve lost interest
in anything else…”
We’ve all seen the ads. Perhaps it’s a rugged cowboy reining in his horse at the top of a hill overlooking all of Montana to have a smoke—the very picture of virility. But the truth is quite different, even though it’s not often mentioned in pamphlets about the dangers of smoking. Did you know that men who smoke are 50 percent more likely to suffer from impotence than men who do not smoke?
Nicotine acts as a vasoconstrictor. That is, it constricts the arteries and blood vessels—including those that are responsible for a man’s erection. Nicotine also lowers testosterone and other hormone levels in the blood. And it increases the concentrations of fatty acids in the blood, leading to clogged arteries and further restricting blood flow to the genitals.
Women who smoke also have cause for concern. There’s evidence that smoking can interfere with a woman’s ability to have an orgasm. Nicotine can also damage ovaries, causing menstrual abnormalities and decreased estrogen production. It can lead to early menopause with such side effects as increased aging and vaginal dryness.
If you’re on the pill, the news is even worse. Women who smoke have a greatly increased risk of heart disease. For instance, women between 30 and 39 years of age who smoke and take the pill are 10 times as likely to have a stroke or a fatal heart attack as nonsmokers. Talk about smoking killing your sex life!
While we’re on the subject of smoking and your sex life, consider what smoking does to your sexual attractiveness. Bad breath, smelly hair and clothes, and yellow teeth and fingers are not exactly a turn-on. When you give up smoking you immediately become more attractive to your nonsmoking friends and coworkers.
Perhaps the very real dangers of cancer and heart disease seem remote when you’re young and healthy. But your sexual enjoyment is something that smoking could affect right now or in the very near future. It’s just one more reason to get out of the nicotine habit.
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