Let me just start off by saying that if you do smoke or dip you should consider breaking the habit. It has very adverse effects on your entire body and can even be lethal. But everyone knows this. Because we’ve all watched TV, and we all love to see a woman peel her face off every ten minutes because she’s an avid smoker.
You aren’t here for me to tell you the things you know about smoking and dipping. You are here to learn something.
What Is the Relationship Between Smoking and Low Testosterone Levels?
The relationship between tobacco and testosterone is a convoluted one. At least on the internet it is. If you try to do any research on the topic you’re going to be told that smoking destroys the endocrine system and that it murders your testosterone levels. You’re also going to be told that it has no effect on your testosterone at all.
So which one is it?
Honestly, I had a bias going into this article because I know smoking and dipping are bad for you. So of course they also have to lower your testosterone levels, right?
This article was so weird to me because it actually went against every intuition and “common sense” I had about this issue.
Smoking and Testosterone
So without further ado, I am surprised to announce that smoking doesn’t seem to have any negative effect on testosterone levels.
Some studies show that it can actually raise your testosterone. (1)
In this study, 25 long-time smoking men and 25 non-smoking men were matched up by similar heights, body types and BMI’s and tested for their levels of bio-available testosterone. Levels of total and free testosterone were found to be higher in the long-time smokers in comparison to the non-smokers. There were, on the other hand, no significant differences in the levels of bio-available testosterone between the two groups.
In this research, 2021 men (989 non-smokers and 1032 smokers) of varying ages were tested and interviewed in regards to testosterone and lifestyle. What researchers found was that the levels of total testosterone and free testosterone were higher among the smoking men. In fact, both the levels of total testosterone and free testosterone were found to be inversely correlated to the amount of tobacco exposure. After all was calculated and the study continued, it was concluded that smoking can cause acute increase in testosterone levels, but can decrease testosterone if used chronically in long-term smoking. They also found that, interestingly enough, the amount of SHBG in the body did not differ between smokers and non-smokers.
Looking at a study in the reverse direction, in this study, 71 men were asked to quit smoking. After a few months, some men had an increase in testosterone but as time went on the levels evened out again. The study concluded that smoking has no significant effect on testosterone levels.
This will come as relieving news to smoking men. While they choose to brave all the health risks of smoking they are currently aware of, they can sleep easy knowing that it should not have any adverse effects on testosterone.
Dipping and Other Types of Smokeless Tobacco
This, to me, seems like a more unstudied realm of testosterone relationships. The only thing I have found through researching the direct relationship between dipping and testosterone is that dipping causes a decrease in testosterone levels. This admittedly has no hard evidence behind it that I could find.
But let me make an assertion as to why dipping can decrease your testosterone and smoking would not. Dipping is worse for your testosterone levels than smoking for two reasons:
Smokeless tobacco contains more nicotine than smoking tobacco. (2) As it seems, from the smoking studies, that tobacco is not the culprit behind lower testosterone levels, it seems the answer may lie in the increased nicotine levels of smokeless tobacco.
In one study, between 0.5mh/kg and 1mg/kg nicotine and cotinine were administered to subjects via their stomachs for 30 days. After the trial, results showed a decrease in testicular weight and a dose-dependent decrease in testosterone levels. (3)
Another study used even less nicotine and cotinine also noted a similar decrease in testicular weight as well as a decrease in testosterone. (3)
In an animal trial on middle-aged mice, nicotine and cotinine were administered to the point where the testosterone levels of the mice actually decreased by 59.5% and also caused prostate issues. (3)
If you hold an average sized amount of dip in your lip for around 30 minutes, you get as much nicotine in your system as you would smoking three cigarettes. (2) The conclusions of these studies suggest that smokeless tobacco could be much more effective in lowering your testosterone than smoking tobacco based on the amount of nicotine.
Chewing straight tobacco wouldn’t taste too good, so most types of smokeless tobacco contain a high level of sugar. (4) Sugar is a well-known enemy to testosterone. If you regularly partake in consuming smokeless tobacco, the sugar you are ingesting will raise your insulin, body fat and estrogen while simultaneously lowering your testosterone levels. No man wants that.
Smoking is a bad habit. Period. It can have serious effects on your heart, arteries, lungs and erections. It can also be cancerous and lethal.
That being said, studies show that smoking has no adverse effects on male testosterone levels. They may acutely increase testosterone, but I wouldn’t recommend relying on smoking for high testosterone in the long term.
If you want higher testosterone, just try the TestShock program. It’s a lot safer.
Nevertheless these studies lead me to believe that tobacco is not a culprit in decreasing testosterone. Studies do show, however, that nicotine and cotinine are testosterone killers (and testicle-size killers apparently, who knew?) That, coupled with smokeless tobacco’s high sugar, lead me to recommend that if you are trying to keep your testosterone high or raise your testosterone, to lay off the smokeless.
Quitting isn’t easy. Especially with nicotine levels being so high. Heck, I have a hard time quitting sugar and I couldn’t imagine quitting both. But tons of people do it, and I know you can too. It’s a necessary move for the health benefits, not to mention the reduced damage to your testosterone.
Kuoppala, Ali. “Does Smoking Tobacco Lower Male Testosterone Levels?” Anabolic Men. N.p., 13 Apr. 2015. Web. 26 June 2015.
NIH. “Smokeless Tobacco: A Guide for Quitting.” Smokeless Tobacco: A Guide for Quitting. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 June 2015.
Examine. “Nicotine.” Examine.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 June 2015.
American Academy of Otolaryngology. “Smokeless Tobacco.” American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. N.p., Dec. 2010. Web. 26 June 2015.