1. Smoking cigarettes can affect the size of your erect penis!
We have known for some time now that cigarette smoking reduces the efficiency of blood circulation but did you know that smoking also leads to a process – atherosclerosis (i.e. damage to blood vessels) that can affect the relative size of your erect penis.
A recent US study revealed that although there are wide variations in the length and diameter (distance around the penis) of penises in a population, smoking is a factor that has been shown to have an effect on the size of a man’s penis. This is not to say that the penises of all male smokers are smaller than all male non-smokers but that smoking decreases a man’s chances of maximizing the full potential of his erect penis (in terms of size).
A smaller (erect) penis? How?
Smoking damages blood vessels, inhibiting blood flow - this affects some of the body’s organs in a negative way e.g. damage to the heart caused by smoking. The effect of smoking on the penis is much the same as that on the heart but, as you can imagine, the blood vessels of the penis are much smaller than those in the heart… (the blood vessels in the heart are actually 50% bigger than those in the penis).
This damage to the blood vessels leads to reduced levels of oxygen which results in increased collagen formation. This affects the elasticity in the penis by upsetting the balance between collagen and elastin in the penis. In the penis, the ideal ratio between collagen and smooth muscle (which contains elastin) is 48% (collagen) : 52% (smooth muscle which contains elastin). When this ratio is upset by an increased proportion of collagen (i.e. a relative decrease in the proportion of elastin) the penis becomes less elastic.
Elastin plays a crucial part in the size of the erection of the penis. It is like a rubber band that you stretch… This is what the penis does – it stretches in response to blood flow.
So this process (smoking - damaged blood vessels – decreased oxygen levels – relative decrease in the proportion of elastin in the penis) damages the penis’ ability to stretch in response to blood flow and what you end up with is a structure that will no longer stretch as well i.e. a smaller erect penis.
Are young men affected? Is the process reversible?
The process of atherosclerosis (damaged blood vessels – closely associated with cigarette smoking) starts at a young age as was revealed in the 1960’s (after autopsies of young American men who died in Vietnam) but there is some good news… If you give up smoking when you are young, let us say 16 – 24 years old then it will take less than 8 years to completely reverse the damage (how long exactly will depend upon how much you smoked and for how long). If you give up when you are older, it will take longer than 8 years to reverse the damage, if at all, because the older you get, the more difficult it becomes for the body to repair itself.
(sources: abstract - "Penile Geometry: Characteristics, physical and health related correlates" - Boston University, Reuters, Observer)
According to a study at the Andrology Institute, University of Kentucky, men who smoke have sex less often and enjoy it less.
The study was conducted using 290 couples and on their first visit the couples were asked to fill in a questionnaire that asked about their marital and sexual history (how often they had sex and the level of satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10) and also their smoking habits. In all the couples that took part in the study all of the women were non smokers (this allowed the study to be a real test of male non smokers).
Less sex - Non smokers reported having sex 12 times a month where as smokers reported having sex only 6 times a month!
Less satisfaction - When asked whether sex was "extremely satisfactory" (!) non smoking couples gave it 9 out of 10 while smoking couples gave it a paltry 5 out of 10 on the same scale...
Poorer sperm quality - Semen analyses showed that non smoking men have healthier sperm than smoking men (in terms of sperm viability and longevity).
Dr Panayiotis Zavos (professor of reproductive physiology and andrology, University of Kentucky) suggests that the lower sex drive, and subsequent less frequent sex, may be due to toxins from cigarettes being stored in the testes and affecting levels of testosterone.
(source: Reuters, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Men's Health)
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