Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Review of the Week


BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 17 April 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1277

Tobacco-related Deafness

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:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

22 May 2009
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA