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Smokers, Please Lend Your Ears

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Smoking, which harms nearly every organ of the body, is associated with a lot of health problems, many of which are fatal while some may cause permanent long-term damage to health. More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking, according to the CDC.

A study published by Oxford University Press has found that smokers are at a greater risk of hearing loss. The study involved 50,000 participants, aged 20-64 years, who were followed up for a maximum of 8 years in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

The effects of smoking status (current, former, and never smokers), the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and the duration of smoking cessation on the extent of hearing loss were analyzed.

According to the researchers, there is an increased risk of hearing loss with smoking, and this risk increased with the number of cigarettes smoked per day. Quitting smoking virtually eliminates the excess risk of hearing loss, suggests the study.

Commenting on the findings, the study's lead author Huanhuan Hu of Japan's National Center for Global Health and Medicine, said, "These results provide strong evidence to support that smoking is a causal factor for hearing loss and emphasize the need for tobacco control to prevent or delay the development of hearing loss."

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