Light smoking: Dangerous in any dose
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The health hazards of tobacco are enormous; they include heart attack, stroke, dementia, aortic aneurysms, emphysema, asthma and lung infections, and cancers of the mouth, throat, lung, and many other organs. Together, these diseases account for 443,000 preventable deaths in the U.S. annually, to say nothing of incalculable suffering and disability. And if that's not bad enough, smoking also drains our fragile econ-omy of some $193 billion a year.
The dangers of smoking are well known, but it's taken over 50 years for the full extent of the problem to emerge. First, scientists identified ciga-rette smoking as the villain of the piece. Over the years, they discovered that filtered cigarettes and "low-tar and low-nicotine" brands offer no protection. Little by little, pipes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco products have been added to the hit list, and research has demonstrated that even exposure to secondhand smoke is a major health hazard.
Smoking and maladies of men
If the risks of heart disease, emphysema, cancer, stroke, and dementia aren't enough to convince you to quit, consider tobacco's toll on male sexuality and reproductive function.
Smoking impairs sperm function and has adverse reproductive consequences in men as well as women. Smoking increases the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED); several studies report that smokers are about twice as likely to have ED as nonsmokers. And …