Smoking Cessation and Sexual Health in Men

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00833404
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : February 2, 2009
Last Update Posted : September 12, 2011
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Christopher Harte, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Brief Summary:
This is a 12-week clinical trial investigating the effects of smoking cessation on sexual functioning in men. This study consists of 3 sessions and provides 8 weeks of free nicotine transdermal patches. It is hypothesized that men who quit smoking, compared to men who smoke as usual, will demonstrate improved sexual functioning, measured both physiologically (erectile functioning) and subjectively (self-reported sexual functioning).

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Smoking Cessation Drug: Nicotine transdermal patch Phase 1

Detailed Description:

Objective: Tobacco use constitutes the single most preventable cause of disease and death in the world today and is responsible for introducing a number of diseases including many types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases. Extensive literature indicates that cigarette smoking is an independent risk factor for introducing erectile impairment in men. Controlled clinical trials examining the effects of smoking cessation on sexual functioning are necessary in order to investigate whether quitting smoking improves sexual health.

Design: This is a 12-week clinical trial in which 80 male long-term smokers will be tested at baseline (while smoking) and then randomized to an 8-week nicotine patch treatment regimen (n = 50) or to a delayed treatment wait list condition (n = 30). All participants will be reassessed at mid-treatment (4 weeks), and at 1-month follow-up.

Main Outcome Measures: Physiological (penile circumferential change via penile plethysmography), and subjective (continuous self-report) sexual responses to erotic stimuli will be examined, as well as global changes in self-reported sexual functioning.

Implications: If participants do in fact demonstrate a significant increase in sexual arousal and sexual functioning as a result of smoking cessation, these results may have the potential for facilitating programs and interventions targeting the prevention and cessation of cigarette smoking in men. This would alleviate enormous economic burdens caused by erectile dysfunction and other smoking-related diseases.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 80 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Effects of Smoking Cessation on Sexual Health in Men
Study Start Date : December 2008
Actual Primary Completion Date : January 2010
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2010

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Smoking Cessation
8-week nicotine patch regimen
Drug: Nicotine transdermal patch
8-week nicotine patch regimen (21mg/day during week 1-4, 14mg/day during week 5-6, and 7mg/day during week 7-8).
Other Names:
  • Nicotine
  • Nicotine patch

No Intervention: Wait List Control
Smoking as usual

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Sexual functioning [ Time Frame: Baseline, 4 weeks, 12 weeks ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Cardiovascular health [ Time Frame: Baseline, 4 weeks, 12 weeks ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   23 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Male
  • Between the ages of 25 and 60
  • Proficient in English
  • Currently smoke at least 15 cigarettes per day for at least 5 years
  • Heterosexual
  • Currently sexually active (sexual intercourse within the past 30 days)
  • Committed to quit smoking

Exclusion Criteria:

  • History of HIV infection or active, untreated pelvic or urinary tract infection including, sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia genital herpes, gonorrhea, or syphilis.
  • Major pelvic surgery that may have caused nerve damage, or serious bladder, rectal, or abdominal surgery.
  • Neurological impairment due to diabetes, stroke, pelvic nerve damage secondary to trauma, cancer treatments, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis or spinal cord damage.
  • Clinically significant untreated renal or endocrine disease.
  • Uncontrolled hypotension or hypertension manifested by systolic blood pressure >170 or <90 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure >100 or <50 mm Hg.
  • History of serious drug abuse or serious alcohol abuse within the past 12 months (>= 16 points on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and >= 6 on the Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST-10).
  • Evidence of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, delusional disorder, or psychotic disorders not classified elsewhere as per the DSM-IV
  • Using medications known to affect sexual or vascular functioning, including antidepressants and anti-hypertensives, as well as sildenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil, or any other substance designed to affect sexual performance
  • Patients using insulin, narcotic pain relievers (propoxyphene, pentazocine), tricyclic antidepressants, oxazepam, or medications for respiratory diseases such as COPD or asthma (xanthines (e.g., theophylline) as these drugs are contraindicated by the nicotine patch
  • Patients who report experiencing clinically significant sexual difficulties, including hypoactive sexual desire disorder, sexual arousal disorder, premature ejaculation, or inhibited orgasm prior to the onset of smoking.
  • Recent myocardial infarction, serious heart arrhythmias, and those with serious or worsening angina.
  • Hypersensitivity or allergy to nicotine.
  • History of or current psoriasis, dermatitis (atopic or eczematous), active peptic ulcers, severe renal impairment, hyperthyroidism, pheochromocytoma, or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00833404

United States, Texas
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas, United States, 78712
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Texas at Austin
Principal Investigator: Christopher B Harte, MA University of Texas at Austin

Responsible Party: Christopher Harte, Ph.D., Postdoctoral fellow, University of Texas at Austin Identifier: NCT00833404     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2008-06-0020
First Posted: February 2, 2009    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 12, 2011
Last Verified: September 2011

Keywords provided by Christopher Harte, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin:
Smoking Cessation
Quit Smoking
Stop Smoking
Nicotine Patch
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Sexual Functioning
Erectile Functioning
Sexual Health

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Ganglionic Stimulants
Autonomic Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Nicotinic Agonists
Cholinergic Agonists
Cholinergic Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action