Vaping nicotine is less terrible than smoking for your health, but it is not without its own potentially harmful health consequences, including a rather intimate aspect of male well-being.

What’s up – In a recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers find that daily nicotine vapers are more than twice as likely to report erectile dysfunction than people who have never used e-cigarettes.

Erectile dysfunction is one of the many health problems caused by smoking. The chemicals in cigarettes damage blood vessels, affecting blood flow – and you need good blood flow to maintain an erection. Because nicotine and other additives are also present in electronic cigarettes, Omar El-Shahawy, assistant professor at the Grossman School of Medicine at NYU and principal investigator of the study, and his colleagues wanted to know if the relationship between l e cigarette use and ED would be equally strong.

This study detects a similar effect resulting from vaping nicotine for what El-Shahawy and his colleagues say is the first time.

How they did it – The researchers used data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, a nationally representative longitudinal study examining smoking behaviors and health outcomes.

“[W]e have studied the effects of smoking on health for five decades and electronic cigarettes[arettes are] relatively new. Our team wanted to look at a full picture of the potential health effects and we were delighted to see that this had been assessed nationally, ”said El-Shahway. Reverse.

Of 45,971 survey respondents, the researchers focused on two groups of respondents:

  1. Full sample: A full sample of 13,711 men aged 20 and over who answered a survey question on erectile dysfunction
  2. Subset: A small sample of 11,207 men aged 20 to 65 without a prior diagnosis of cardiovascular disease

Men were then classified as never, former and current – occasional or daily – nicotine users. Former cigarette smokers made up 53 percent of respondents, 21 percent were current cigarette smokers, and 14 percent used other tobacco products.

In total, 4.8 percent of all men in the study said they currently use electronic nicotine delivery devices (vapes), although the proportion is slightly higher among men in the subset. . In the full sample, 2.1% of men vaped nicotine daily; men in the subset showed a higher propensity for daily use, with 2.5 percent reporting daily vaping.

We asked all men this question:

Many men have problems with intercourse. How would you describe your ability to achieve and maintain an erection adequate for satisfying sex? Would you say that you are …

Respondents could then choose an answer:

  • Always able to get and maintain an erection
  • usually able to get and maintain an erection
  • Occasionally able to get and maintain an erection
  • Never able to get and maintain an erection

The men who chose “sometimes” or “rarely” were then classified as having moderate to severe erectile dysfunction. Finally, the researchers compared men with erectile dysfunction to their vaping habits to see if there was a relationship between the two.

Respondents who vaped nicotine were more likely to report erectile dysfunction than those who did not.Getty / Jorg Greuel

What they found – The results weren’t ideal for vapers who don’t want either region in great shape. Compared to those who have never vaped, daily users were more than twice as likely to report having erectile dysfunction – this was especially true for men in the small sample: 2.2 times more for the sample complete and 2.4 times more for the subset.

Overall, 10.2% of respondents reported having some degree of erectile dysfunction. Of these men, 5.5% were occasional vapers; 2.5 percent were daily users.

El-Shahawy says it was not unexpected.

“Nicotine is nicotine in any form – the theory is that maybe e-cigarettes can provide high levels of nicotine – at least some of them do,” he explains.

And after – However, there may be balm for engaged vapers and men in general: Among all people in this study, participating in physical activity was associated with a lower rate of erectile dysfunction.

It is not known whether the link between erectile dysfunction and e-cigarette use is as strong as it is between cigarettes, El-Shahawy says.

“This is the first study [looking at the connection between e-cigarettes and erectile dysfunction] and we cannot quantify the risk based on a single study. In addition, a more complete analysis with other measures for [erectile dysfunction] an assessment is necessary, ”he adds.

El-Shahawy wants to study whether electronic cigarette use also affects women’s sexual health. He also hopes to examine longer-term patterns linking erectile dysfunction and e-cigarette use.

Ultimately, it makes sense that vaping nicotine has the same effects smoking nicotine has on the body. That said, it’s important to point out that from a health standpoint, e-cigarettes are not as bad as traditional cigarettes, especially if used in moderation.

“The overall health effects of using e-cigarettes are significantly lower than smoking, but at the same time [they] should not be used excessively, ”concludes El-Shahawy.


Introduction: Smoking is independently associated with erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. Given the similarities that exist in the constituents of electronic cigarettes or ENDS and cigarettes, this study examines the association between the use of ENDS and erectile dysfunction.

Methods: Data from wave 4 (2016-2018) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study were analyzed in 2020. Male participants aged ≥ 20 years who answered the question on erectile dysfunction were included . Multivariate logistic regression models examined the association of ENDS use with erectile dysfunction in the full sample and in a small sample (adults aged 20 to 65 without a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease) while adjusting for multiple risk factors.

Results: The proportion of erectile dysfunction ranged from 20.7% (full sample) to 10.2% (small sample). The prevalence of current use of ENDS in the full and small samples was 4.8% and 5.6%, respectively, with 2.1% and 2.5%, respectively, reporting daily use. Current daily ENDS users were more likely to report erectile dysfunction than ever before users in full (AOR = 2.24, 95% CI = 1.50, 3.34) and restricted (AOR = 2.41) samples , 95% CI = 1.55, 3.74). In the full sample, a history of cardiovascular disease (relative to absence) and age ≥ 65 years (relative to age 20-24 years) were associated with erectile dysfunction (AOR = 1, 39, 95% CI = 1.10, 1.77; AOR = 17.4, 95% CI = 12.15, 24.91), while physical activity was associated with a lower likelihood of erectile dysfunction in both samples (AOR range = 0.440.58).

Conclusions: The use of ENDS appears to be associated with erectile dysfunction regardless of age, cardiovascular disease and other risk factors. While the ENDS remains under evaluation for harm reduction and the potential for quitting smoking, ENDS users should be made aware of the possible association between the use of ENDS and erectile dysfunction.