As if the increased risks of lung disease, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease weren't enough to dissuade people from smoking, now you can add potential bedroom problems to the list.
A new study in the British Journal of Urology International shows that men who stopped smoking had greater sexual arousal than men who still smoked.
"With younger men, the risks of smoking in that population appear more far off. They think, 'I don't really need to worry about this until much farther down the road,'" study researcher Christopher Harte, of the VA Boston Healthcare System, told Reuters. However, this study shows that there could be a more immediate effect from smoking.
For the study, researchers had 65 male smokers take part in an eight-week smoking cessation program that involved nicotine patches and counseling.
Researchers also tested the men's sexual arousal before the stop-smoking program, in the middle of the program and a few weeks after the program, the Daily Mail reported.
At the end of the study, 20 men had stopped smoking for at least a week, while 45 men were still smoking. However, the men who had quit for a week or longer became sexually aroused faster than the smokers, TIME reported.
However, these changes in arousal weren't seen until the stop-smokers had ceased using a nicotine patch, suggesting it's the nicotine in the cigarettes -- not the cigarette smoke or whatever else -- that affects the sexual arousal, TIME reported.
It also has yet to be seen if the effects actually carry into the bedroom, since "it might take longer for men to actually notice their level of difference subjectively outside of the lab, which is also dependent on their relationship with their sexual partner," Harte told Reuters.
Past studies have also shown a smoking-sex link. One study by the University of Hong Kong showed that quitting smoking was linked with fewer impotence problems, according to the Times of India. Another study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showed that smokers have a higher risk for erectile dysfunction, with the risk associated with the number of cigarettes they smoke, Reuters reported.
And a recent study, to be published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, shows that quitting smoking is actually associated with a change in personality. In that study, University of Missouri researchers found that people who smoke were more neurotic (anxious and emotionally negative) and impulsive (acting without considering the consequences) than people who don't smoke. However, quitting smoking was also associated with a decrease in neuroticism and impulsivity, researchers said.