Fathers’ Day is just around the corner on June 15th, and serves as a reminder that the health of dads everywhere can be negatively affected by tobacco use. 21.6 percent of American men currently smoke; a rate that is higher than that of women and smoking kills more men per year than it does women. Here are five ways that smoking negatively impacts men:
- Increased Mortality Rate from Prostate Cancer: Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death among American men. While there is no direct causal link between smoking and prostate cancer, the 2004 Surgeon General’s Report notes that mortality from prostate cancer is higher among smokers compared to non-smokers.
- Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Smoking causes fat to accumulate in blood vessels, which not only impacts heart function; but it can also cause erectile dysfunction. Quitting has been shown to improve ED symptoms.
- Increased Risk of Bladder Cancer: Bladder cancer is much more common in men than it is in women. Furthermore, smoking can double the risk of developing bladder cancer. Toxic chemicals from cigarette smoke are absorbed into the bloodstream, and then transferred to the kidneys where they are absorbed into urine. Since urine remains in the body for long periods of time, the bladder-lining is exposed to these toxic chemicals for lengthy periods of time.
- Infertility: Both, first and second-hand smoke exposure can affect men’s fertility. By reducing sperm motility and concentration, active smoking can reduce the possibility of a successful pregnancy.
- Premature Aging: Twin studies have shown that smoking can cause early wrinkling of skin, lines under the eyes, and sagging cheeks. In addition, smoking can negatively impact stamina, and cardiovascular health, making it more difficult to stay healthy and in shape.
Fathers’ Day is a reminder that dads should consider quitting for their own health, and also for the health of their families and children (or potential children). Legacy wishes dads everywhere a happy and healthy Fathers’ Day!