Association between smoking cessation and sexual health in men
Version of Record online: 23 AUG 2011
© 2011 THE AUTHORS. BJU INTERNATIONAL © 2011 BJU INTERNATIONAL
Volume 109, Issue 6, pages 888–896, March 2012
How to Cite
Harte, C. B. and Meston, C. M. (2012), Association between smoking cessation and sexual health in men. BJU International, 109: 888–896. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2011.10503.x
- Issue online: 23 FEB 2012
- Version of Record online: 23 AUG 2011
- Accepted for publication 21 April 2011
- sexual arousal;
- erectile dysfunction;
Study Type – Prevention (case series)
Level of Evidence 4
What's known on the subject? and What does the study add?
Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease and death, and – among other medical sequelae – is associated with elevated rates of erectile dysfunction. This is the first study that shows that quitting smoking enhances both physiological and self-reported indices of sexual health in long-term male smokers. It is hoped that these results may serve as a novel means to motivate men to quit smoking.
- • To provide the first empirical investigation of the association between smoking cessation and indices of physiological and subjective sexual health in men.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS
- • Male smokers, irrespective of erectile dysfunction status, who were motivated to stop smoking (‘quitters’), were enrolled in an 8-week smoking cessation programme involving a nicotine transdermal patch treatment and adjunctive counselling.
- • Participants were assessed at baseline (while smoking regularly), at mid-treatment (while using a high-dose nicotine transdermal patch), and at a 4-week post-cessation follow-up.
- • Physiological (circumferential change via penile plethysmography) and subjective sexual arousal indices (continuous self-report), as well as self-reported sexual functioning were assessed at each visit.
- • Intent-to-treat analyses indicated that, at follow-up, successful quitters (n= 20), compared with those who relapsed (n= 45), showed enhanced erectile tumescence responses, and faster onset to reach maximum subjective sexual arousal.
- • Although successful quitters displayed across-session enhancements in sexual function, they did not show a differential improvement compared with unsuccessful quitters.
- • Smoking cessation significantly enhances both physiological and self-reported indices of sexual health in long-term male smokers, irrespective of baseline erectile impairment.
- • It is hoped that these results may serve as a novel means to motivate men to stop smoking.