Q. Can toxins from cigarette smoke get passed on to me during sex?

Answered by
Dr. Settipalli Saravan Pramod
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 03, 2017

Hi doctor,

I am really concerned to let a 50 year old guy who smokes cigarettes and marijuana, and drinks every day be sexually intimate with me. He touches me, pokes me with his hands and fingers, puts his tongue in my mouth, ejaculates over me on my skin, etc. If he does all these to me, could he pass the smoking toxins on to me and if not, what is the exact scientific reason for it? I do not think that brushing his teeth and using mouthwash would be adequate to remove all of the smoking toxins from his teeth, mouth, and tongue.



Welcome to

I read your query and understand your concern. 

  • Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide, as well as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, and DDT.
  • There is a chance of transmission of these toxins to you through the patient's saliva, called as passive smoking. Proper hygiene will reduce the chance of transmission.
  • Cleaning your mouth thoroughly after, will reduce the chance of transmission but not exactly nullify them.

For more information consult an internal medicine physician online -->

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply. Are a smoker's hands, fingernails, lips, and semen toxic to me, when they come in contact with my skin? If yes, what is the scientific reason for your answer?



Welcome back to

  • There is a high chance of him having the carcinogenic cigarette toxins on his fingernails, and lips but, not exactly in the seminal fluid.
  • Many studies were undertaken regarding passive smoking, which has proven to affect the health of the person in spite of not directly smoking the cigarettes themselves.

For more information consult an internal medicine physician online -->

Thank you doctor,

When he touches me a lot and puts his fingers inside my vagina, could the toxins transfer from his hands and fingernails, into my body? If yes, what percentage of them? Also, I am confused why a smoker's semen is not toxic.



Welcome back to

  • As the tar in the cigarette smoke collects on the hands and the finger nails, there is a chance that these toxins will transfer to you. But, the chance of transfer is found to be equal to or less than 5 %.
  • When these toxins come in contact with your mucosal membranes like nasal mucosa, oral mucosa, vaginal mucosa or a break in the epithelial surface like an open wound or injured skin, there is a concern, rather than when it comes in contact with your intact skin.
  • Otherwise, with smoking, the main concern is a decrease in his fertility by affecting his sperm production, motility, and its function.

For more information consult an internal medicine physician online -->

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