Men who smoke cigarettes are 50 percent more likely than nonsmokers to become impotent before the age of 50, according to a newly published survey of nearly 4,500 American veterans of the Vietnam War.
Among men who were smokers at the time of the telephone interview survey in 1985 and 1986, 3.7 percent reported being impotent, whereas only 2.2 percent of those who never smoked and 2 percent of former smokers said they were impotent. The research, headed by Dr. David Mannino of the National Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta, was reported in a recent issue of The American Journal of Epidemiology.
The survey revealed no link between the incidence of impotence and the number of years the men had smoked or the number of cigarettes they smoked each day. This suggests that smoking per se has an immediate deleterious effect on potency.