The connection between smoking and impotence is related to the formation of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which the walls of the artery accumulate plaque because of smoking. The accumulation of plaque hardens the walls of the arteries, which results in restricted blood flow. A man suffering from this condition will have a difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection. Medical studies show that atherosclerosis is especially prolific among chronic smokers, or regular smokers who started at a young age.
Studies that analyze the link between smoking and impotence show that smoking can double the occurrence of impotence in men, compared with men who have never smoked. The risk of impotence is especially relevant to smokers who started early. Men who decided to stop smoking are noted to still have problems with impotence. This is especially true when compared with men who have never smoked. It shows that even if a man decides to stop smoking, he might not be able to completely reverse the connection between smoking and impotence.
Scientists who have studied the relationship between smoking and impotence have noted that prescription and nonprescription drugs tend to be ineffective in correcting the effects of impotence caused by smoking. Drugs that might alleviate erectile issues tend to be more effective for men who have never smoked. A reason why corrective drugs might have marginal success with chronic smokers could be because the effects of smoking are permanent and irreversible in nature. Medicines that help improve the effects of impotence can still be administered, but men who suffer from impotence might continue to have erectile problems in the future.
There is a good chance that impotence will be a problem for smokers even after they quit. The chances of it being a permanent problem will be exponentially greater the longer he has been an active smoker. Plaque in the arteries would have a longer time to form and accumulate, further aggravating the effects of impotence.
Regardless of whether a man has smoked or the age at which he started or stopped smoking, impotence and erectile dysfunction can affect any man at any age. A man who is concerned about impotence should not smoke. If he is already a smoker, it generally is good idea to stop smoking.