It is possible that this can happen, as nicotine does cause both physical and psychological reactions. Among these are possible impairment of blood flow, and the brain receiving “mixed signals.”
An erection is only possible when a combination of physical and psychological factors work together. The physical factors involve a relaxing of the penile muscle so that the blood vessels in the penis can fill with blood, thus causing the erection.
Smoking introduces nicotine into the body, which can cause fat build-up in the arteries. The fat restricts the amount of blood that can flow through the arteries. If enough blood does not reach the penile arteries, a partial erection or no erection at all can occur.
On the psychological level, an erection is caused by both physical and emotional stimulation. Touching or being touched in a sexual way coupled with the feelings of arousal that are transmitted by the brain all serve to help cause an erection. Nicotine can actually cause the brain to received “mixed signals.”
Instead of the brain sending the signal to the penis to relax the penile muscle, the signal for muscle contraction may occur. Again, the penile muscle must be relaxed in order for blood to flow into the arteries. If the penis is receiving signals to contract the muscle, blood flow will be restricted, again resulting in a partial or absent erection.
Many men who are trying to quit smoking for other reasons besides impotence have turned to the electronic cigarette. If the device being used is one that contains no nicotine liquid, then this may help with impotence. If, however, the device does contain nicotine liquid, at least some of it will be absorbed into the body with the water vapor, and this can still cause impotence problems.