Does smoking really cause impotence?
Yes, said medical practitioner Dr Orlando Thomas. Tobacco smoking can definitely result in impotence in men, and if used heavily, could eventually cause men to 'fire blanks'.
"This is definitely true, because it contains nicotine which causes hardening of the arteries and results in less blood flow to the penis," the doctor explained.
While young men may not feel the effects of smoking, Dr Thomas said they should not think it will not have an effect, as 10 to 15 years down the line the damage will start manifesting itself.
"If you smoke long enough and hard enough — say 10 cigarettes per day — then you will definitely feel the effects," he said.
Therefore, impotence caused by smoking is more common among older men.
Studies have found that tobacco smoking has been individually associated with a build-up of plaque in the arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis. This plaque obstructs the blood flow through the vessels, causing a host of circulatory problems throughout the body, resulting in erectile dysfunction. Long-term use of tobacco will eventually cause the blood flow to become non-existent, resulting in impotence.
The doctor stated that an approximate 25 per cent of Jamaican men will suffer from the condition, with an even higher rate among men with diabetes and hypertension.
Meanwhile, some smokers have switched to marijuana because of the risk of impotence with tobacco.
But this, too, has its dangers.
"While tobacco smoking is linked to impotence, marijuana is linked to infertility," Dr Thomas warned.