The lethal effects of tobacco are so prominent that they eclipse the non-lethal
effects. We all know that tobacco causes cancer, heart disease, and chronic
lung disease, but we tend to overlook the fact that tobacco causes or
aggravates other conditions. For example, smoking increases the risk of
hearing impairment (1) and ear infections (2), both of which can lead to
deafness. The tobacco industry should fund research into tobacco-related
deafness and other non-lethal effects of tobacco.
1. “Cigarette Smoking and Hearing Loss: The Epidemiology of Hearing Loss
Study” Cruickshanks, et al. JAMA.1998; 279:1715-1719.
2. “Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Middle Ear Disease in Preschool-Age
Children” Adair-Bischoff, et al. Arch Pediatr Adolesc
Competing interests: No competing interests