Erectile dysfunction (ED, formerly referred to as impotence, is a common (especially in diabetic and older men) and distressing condition. Several risk factors have been identified; among these are smoking, hyperlipidaemia, hypertension and diabetes mellitus. These risk factors are shared with atherosclerotic vascular disease (e.g. ischaemic heart disease). This observation underlies a common vascular pathology. Smoking may cause ED by several mechanisms, including adversely affecting intrapenile blood flow. It is important to be aware of the link between smoking and ED since this information may motivate some male smokers to quit. In this context, it is important to be aware of the link between smoking and ED since this information may motivate smokers to quit. In this context, it is relevant that there is evidence that quitting may restore/improve erectile function.