A study has found that men who smoke cigarettes have an increased risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction.
Moreover, the more cigarettes smoked, the greater the risk was of the dysfunction.
The study led by Jiang He, professor and chair of epidemiology at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, examined the association between cigarette smoking and erectile dysfunction in a 2000-2001 study, which involved 7,684 men.
In the study, the participants were in the age group of 35-74 years who did not have vascular disease.
The men were used to assess the status of cigarette smoking and erectile dysfunction.
"The association between cigarette smoking and ED was found in earlier studies," He said.
"However, most of those studies were conducted in patients with hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. What distinguishes this study is that it is the first to find this association among healthy men," he added.
The analysis of the study found that there was a significant statistical link between the number of cigarettes that the men smoked and the likelihood they would experience erectile dysfunction.
According to the study, approximately 22.7 percent of erectile dysfunction cases among the men might be attributed to cigarette smoking.
Professor He said that the finding has a strong message for young men.
"This study really has a strong message for young men. It may get their attention if they know that smoking is associated with ED even in the healthy population. So the message is: Don't start," he said.
The study is published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.