Smoking Harms Hearing, says Japanese Study


This study, conducted on more than 50,000 Japanese, aged 20 to 64 over several years, shows that smokers are more likely to lose hearing. However, smokers who decide to quit have a lower risk of hearing loss “five years after stop smoking”.

Smoking increases the risk of hearing loss, says a Japanese study published on Wednesday, which however has good news: quitting smoking is beneficial for hearing.

“The researchers found a risk of hearing loss increased from 1.2 to 1.6 times for smokers compared to those who had never smoked,” said in a statement the editor of the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research Oxford University Press.

The study looked at 50,195 working Japanese aged 20 to 64 years, who had been tested for hearing over several years (up to eight). The authors eliminated other risk factors such as age, occupation and health status (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, overweight, etc.).

Less risk “five years after stop smoking”

The risks of cigarette smoking seem less when you stop smoking. “The risk of hearing loss associated with smoking seems to be decreasing within five years of stop smoking,” the researchers said.

No hypothesis is advanced to explain the damage that the cigarette can do on hearing.

The researchers added that the medical records analyzed did not include data on known risk factors for hearing in the lifestyle, such as lack of physical activity, alcohol consumption, and music listening on high volume.


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Savi is a regular writer and social activist. She also writes for BBC, Huffington Posts and others.

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