Smoking is a killer habit, quite literally, and one that for many is incredibly hard to shake. In recent years, vaping has arisen as a potential alternative to smoking, one that in some disposable vape pen ways and for some people may be a healthier option. As more men begin vaping, it raises questions about whether it might have any penis health effects – in particular, could vaping have a negative impact on a man’s ability to obtain or maintain that all-important erect penis?
Vaping is the act of using so-called e-smokes rather than the tobacco-based normal cigarette. In place of tobacco, e-smokes contain a liquid that is composed of various chemicals and metals, including nicotine, which is a stimulant found in tobacco and which is one of the major reasons that cigarettes can be addictive. The liquid is put in (or comes in) a cartridge, which is inserted into the e-smokes. A heat source causes the liquid to turn into an aerosol (mistakenly called a vapor, hence the name vaping), which is breathed into the lungs and then exhaled.
Because vaping eliminates the smoke that comes from tobacco, e-smokes may be less harmful to some people who would otherwise smoke tobacco cigarettes. However, in recent years, there have been concerns that the chemicals used in vaping may also be hazardous to one’s health. The current thought is that promoting e-smokes as a healthier alternative to smoking may not be justified.
What about penis health?
So vaping might not be the boon to general health it was once thought to be. What about where penis health is concerned? Does a guy need to worry about any possible effect vaping might have on his erect penis?
There is credible evidence that yes, vaping could contribute to factors that might impact one’s ability to attain or maintain an erect penis. One of the reasons why this could be is that e-smokes tend to include various “flavorings” added to make the vaping experience more pleasant and enjoyable (in much the same way as menthol cigarettes were introduced for those for whom straight tobacco flavors may have been too harsh).
Unfortunately, the chemicals used to create the flavorings have been shown to cause damage to endothelial cells. For guys, this can be an issue because endothelial cells play a role in blood vessel health, growth, and maintenance, and in creating nitric oxide. In turn, nitric oxide is vital for enabling blood vessels to widen so that more blood can flow through them when required – as, for example, when a man has an erection and needs a rapid flow of blood to reach the penis, fill up its spongy tissue, and make a firm erect penis.
An erect penis is important for more than just enabling sexual activity. Erections bring oxygen to the penis, which helps keep the penile tissue healthy. Fewer or weaker erections generally mean that, over time, some of the tissue will atrophy, resulting in some shrinkage of the penis – a situation most men wish to avoid.
It should be noted that smoking tobacco cigarettes is also associated with impeding nitric oxide production and the resulting erect penis (and penis shrinkage) issues.