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New study finds smoking can lead to hearing loss

Published: 05/31/2013

Last Updated: 01/02/2018

According to the Tobacco Control Journal, those who smoke, even passively, have an increased risk of hearing loss.

During the study, experts looked at over 3,000 infrequent smokers. Their blood was tested for cotinine, a by-product of nicotine, which is produced when the body comes into contact with tobacco smoke. The experts discovered that those with cotinine in their body were more likely to have impaired hearing.

This is mostly due to the fact that smoking disrupts blood flow in the small vessels of the ear, which can limit the amount of oxygen getting through and lead to a build-up of damaging toxic waste. This type of damage is unlike the type caused by ageing or noise exposure.

Passive smoking has previously been associated with various illnesses commonly linked to long-term smoking, such as lung cancer and heart disease.

This study made no mention of a correlation between second-hand smoke and hearing loss, but an  article in Time magazine stated the results of a study from NYU’s Langone Medical Center that found “teens who are regularly exposed to second hand smoke are nearly twice as likely to have hearing loss as teens who live in smoke-free environments.”


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