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Endocr Pract. 1998 Jan-Feb;4(1):23-6.

Cessation of smoking rapidly decreases erectile dysfunction.

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Section of Endocrinology, Lahey Hitchcock Medical Center, Burlington, Massachusetts, USA.



To assess the relationship between cessation of smoking and rapid improvement in erectile capacity as well as the effect of nicotine patches on nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity.


Nocturnal penile erections were studied in 10 smokers with use of the RigiScan portable home monitor. Two nights were monitored: for the first night, the patients had not stopped smoking; for the second night, the patients had stopped smoking for 24 hours. In addition, four men were monitored after cessation of smoking and wearing nicotine patches for 1 month.


Multiple variables studied showed a statistically significant improvement in nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity in the men who had stopped smoking for 24 hours. Continued improvement was noted in the four men who were monitored while not smoking and wearing nicotine patches for 1 month.


Stopping cigarette smoking is a factor that rapidly improves penile tumescence and rigidity. Because the improvement continues while the patient is receiving nicotine from transdermal patches, some factor or factors other than the nicotine are responsible for the erectile dysfunction.


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