If you are a smoker, you most likely have been admonished for years by friends and relatives to quit. You are aware of the many health problems which can develop from smoking. Yet, you continue unabated. If it was easy to do, you would have already done it, right? Maybe the final impetus will be how smoking affects your risk of urologic conditions.
Smoking Is Bad Because…
This habit affects almost every organ, cell, and system in your body with just one cigarette. The toxins and chemicals you inhale build up and the longer you smoke these carcinogens can lead to all types of health problems. You probably already are aware of cancer, cardiovascular disease, plus sudden heart attacks and strokes.
Urologic conditions are less known. If the above effects haven’t scared you enough to quit, maybe the urologic ones will.
Do we have your attention now? 20 to 30 million American men are affected each year with ED. The most impactful physiological cause of ED is lack of blood flow to the penis. Since smoking causes circulation issues, it will worsen the symptoms and increase the frequency. If you are a young man experiencing ED, it is likely smoking is the culprit.
Overactive Bladder (OAB) & Incontinence
Leaking urine, waking up to urinate, and a frequent and urgent need to urinate are all common problems which affect more than 33 million men and women. They all are related to smoking. Chronic coughing which occurs in smokers can also lead to weakened bladder muscles and leaking.
Smoking is a leading risk factor for developing cancer. Harmful chemicals collect in the urine which affect the lining of the bladder raising the risk for bladder cancer.
Tobacco enters the bloodstream which then is filtered by the kidneys. When the chemicals are filtered out, they become trapped in the kidney. The main risk factors for kidney cancer are being male, your age, genetic factors, and smoking. The risk increases for those who have smoked longer and more frequently.
Healing Issues After Urologic Procedures
The chemicals from smoking can increase the chance your tissue and bones may not heal well after a surgical procedure. They also increase the risk for infection and pain.
- 26% of patients who get kidney stones are smokers
- Infertility affects both men and women with 50% of infertility cases due to the male. The infertility rate for smokers is twice the rate of non-smokers. Smoking harms the genetic makeup of sperm and eggs.
- Smoking accounts for more than 480,000 deaths every year in the U.S.
- 50% of bladder cancer tumors are linked to smoking
- You could save at least $2,000 a year by quitting smoking (1 pack a day)
Is it your time to quit?
Talk with your doctor for medical or behavior therapy recommendations to help you stop smoking.