Is this the final straw for the male smoker?
The figure 120,000 has featured in the press this week. Not a footballer's weekly salary but the number of British men aged 30-50 who are impotent as a direct result of their smoking.
The link between heavy smoking and light erections has been around for a while but this time it's the British Medical Association (BMA) drawing our attention to it and putting a number on it.
Could this be the final straw-like erection for the hard-core male smoker? If the threat of lung cancer didn't put him off smoking because he couldn't see his lungs, if the threat of losing a limb didn't put him off smoking because he wasn't much much into walking anyway, maybe this news will.
The point is it's not just the 120,000 men who can't get it up at all, it's every male smoker who is effected. Erections are caused by blood rushing to the penis. The less effective this process, the less effective the erection. What's this got to do with smoking? Simply that poisons in tobacco smoke like carbon monoxide stop the blood from circulating properly, stop it from getting to the penis and stop the penis from responding as its owner would wish.
The BMA report calls for the damaging effects on reproductive health to be included in the warnings on fag packets. Malehealth says: good idea but instead of talking about the negative effects for some, emphasise the positive effects for all.
There isn't a man on the planet who wouldn't like firmer, better erections and the good news is that any man who is a smoker can have them. Just by packing up.
The BMA report also points out that smoking for up to 5,000 miscarriages a year and calls for leave on full-pay for women exposed to smoke in their workplace. It asks, once again, for smoking to be banned in all enclosed public areas. It also estimates that every year more than 17,000 children under five years old are hospitalised with breathing illnesses caused by passive smoking.
Dr Vivienne Nathanson, the BMA's Head of Science and Ethics, told the BBC: 'The sheer scale of damage that smoking causes to reproductive and child health is shocking. Men and women who think they might want children one day should bin cigarettes. Men who want to continue to enjoy sex should forget about lighting up given the strong evidence that smoking is a major cause of male sexual impotence.'
What do you think? If you're a smoker, you know there are products around to help you quit but you also know that the most important factor is will-power. Most of us 'give-up' several times before succeeding. Is this the sort of news to give you the will-power you need?
Page created on February 16th, 2004
Page updated on March 11th, 2010