Thankfully, today I am a non smoker. A little over a year ago I was having sex in the shower and I almost passed out. So that was my turning point. I knew then that after 20 years of lighting up it was time to make a significant change in my life.
I felt the need to compose this article not because I want to lecture, but rather that since I quit (12 months and counting) I have never felt healthier. My sex life has improved out of site, my wife is happy, my kids are happy, I’m happy, my physician is happy and I feel like doing a Tom Cruise and jumping up and down on the couch with glee!
So to commemorate my first year off the fags I thought I would summarize a few details about the effects of smoking for you to inhale.
It is no secret that smoking has an extremely harmful effect on male and female fertility. Smoking has a direct, negative effect on the sexuality of a man on every level. In fact, a recent survey revealed that the effects of smoking in men are so severe that male smokers returned a sperm count 17% lower than their non-smoking counterparts. Additionally, the health of their sperm was shown to be significantly degraded.
Women who smoke not only increase the time it takes them to conceive, but also increases their risk of miscarriage. They also jeopardise the health of their unborn baby. Female smokers are also at a bigger risk for delivering premature or low birth weight babies and developing further complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease.
Another study found that sperm damaged by smoking may also result in more couples having baby girls than boys. The researchers suggest that the sperm cells carrying the Y chromosome are more at risk to the toxins in cigarette smoke.
Smokers are 30% less fertile and require a much higher dose of fertility drugs if they opt for fertility treatments than non-smokers. Second hand smoking, too, is equally dangerous to women and their pregnancy.
Impotence is the lack of ability to have or retain an erection. This condition effects roughly 1 in 10 men between the ages of 21 and 75. The risk of impotence is increased to nearly 50% by smoking cigarettes for men in their 30s and 40s. This is because during an erection, blood flows into the penile arteries causing the veins which drain the penis to become compressed, preventing blood from leaving the penis. This process is considerably impaired by smoking. Less blood flows into the penis if the path is blocked by fatty deposits in the arteries, (atherosclerosis) caused by smoking.
Some of the other male sexual dysfunctions caused by smoking cigarettes include: Reduced amount of ejaculate. Lower sperm count. Malformed sperm shape. Impaired sperm mobility.
General facts about smoking- smoking statistics 2008
· Smoking is a killer. Diseases caused by smoking kill 1 in 10 adults around the world which equates to four million deaths every year. By 2030, 1 in 6 people will die from smoking related diseases.
· Approximately 30% of the adult male population smoke.
· Eleven cancer causing chemicals are found in cigarette smoke.
· Someone dies every 8 seconds as a consequence of smoking.
· About 1 in 5 teenagers smoke.
· 10 Million Cigarettes are sold every minute.
· Half of long-term smokers will die from tobacco. Every cigarette smoked cuts at least five minutes of life on average – about the time taken to smoke it.
· Smoking is the single most preventable cause of illness and premature death.
· Tobacco is highly addictive. Users of other ‘hard drugs’ rate it as more addictive than heroin, methadone, amphetamines and barbiturates.
· More than 4,000 toxic or carcinogenic chemicals have been found in tobacco smoke.
· Cigarette smoke contains benzene, carbon monoxide, arsenic, hydrogen cyanide and polonium 210.
· At least a quarter of all deaths from heart diseases and about three-quarters of world’s chronic bronchitis are related to smoking.
· Roughly 50% of people who begin smoking in adolescent years go on to smoke for a further 15 to 20 years.
The effects of reducing or totally stopping smoking can produce noticeable results in days. In men, sperm count may increase by up to 800% while women are likely to get pregnant easier and faster.
Erectile Dysfunction, or ED, will affect 20% of all men at some time in their life. Smoking causes impotence because nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, tightening blood vessels and restricting blood flow.
So, do yourself, your wife, your kids and your Doctor a favour and work toward quitting starting today. I guarantee you it will be the best choice you’ll ever make.
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