The hazardous effects of tobacco smoking on male fertility

Jing Bo Dai, Zhao Xia Wang, Zhong Dong Qiao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


The substantial harmful effects of tobacco smoking on fertility and reproduction have become apparent but are not generally appreciated. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4000 kinds of constituents, including nicotine, tar, carbonic monoxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and heavy metals. Because of the complexity of tobacco smoke components, the toxicological mechanism is notably complicated. Most studies have reported reduced semen quality, reproductive hormone system dysfunction and impaired spermatogenesis, sperm maturation, and spermatozoa function in smokers compared with nonsmokers. Underlying these effects, elevated oxidative stress, DNA damage, and cell apoptosis may play important roles collaboratively in the overall effect of tobacco smoking on male fertility. In this review, we strive to focus on both the phenotype of and the molecular mechanism underlying these harmful effects, although current studies regarding the mechanism remain insufficient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)954-960
Number of pages7
JournalAsian Journal of Andrology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • DNA fragmentation
  • Heavy metals
  • Nicotine
  • Oxidative stress
  • Semen quality
  • Spermatogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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