Friday November 16, 2018

Smoking may up risk of hearing loss

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  • There are many harmful effects of smoking
  • Smoking may also lead to a loss of hearing
  • For smokers, it can get difficult to listen to low-frequency sounds

Smokers beware. You may be at a higher risk of suffering hearing loss, as a new study suggests that smoking affects the ability to hear both high and low-frequency sounds.

“These results provide strong evidence to support that smoking is a causal factor for hearing loss and emphasise the need for tobacco control to prevent or delay the development of hearing loss,” said lead author Huanhuan Hu from the National Centre for Global Health and Medicine in Japan.

Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay
Smoking can cause loss of hearing. Pixabay

For the study, published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, researchers included 50,195 people, aged between 20 to 64 years and free of hearing loss.

The researchers analysed data from annual health checkups, which included audio testing performed by a technician and a health-related lifestyle questionnaire completed by each participant.

Also Read: Stop smoking and eat healthy to avoid obesity

They examined 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. The participants were followed up for a maximum of eight years.

Even after adjusting for factors including occupational noise exposure, researchers noted a 1.2 to 1.6 increased risk of hearing loss among current smokers compared with never smokers.

Smoking causes failure of Dental fillings
Smokers are at higher risk of losing their ability to listen low-frequency sounds. Pixabay

During follow-up, 3,532 individuals developed high-frequency hearing loss, and 1,575 developed low-frequency hearing loss. While the association between smoking and high-frequency hearing loss was stronger than that of low-frequency hearing loss, the risk of both high and low-frequency hearing loss increased with cigarette consumption, the researcher said.

The increased risk of hearing loss decreased within five years after quitting smoking, the researcher added. “With a large sample size, long follow-up period, and objective assessment of hearing loss, our study provides strong evidence that smoking is an independent risk factor of hearing loss,” Hu said. IANS

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Usage of E-Cigarettes In American Teens Have Reached ‘Epidemic Proportions’: FDA

Gottlieb slammed the e-cigarette makers for approaching the problem of underage use as "a public relations challenge.''

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e-cigarettes
Do you believe e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to smoking? Think again. Pixabay

American teens’ use of e-cigarettes has hit “epidemic proportions,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement released Wednesday.

In what it called the “largest coordinated enforcement effort in FDA history,” the agency issued written warnings and fines to 1,300 retailers for their role in selling the devices to children.

According to the data cited by the FDA, last year more than 2 million middle school and high school students used the devices, which deliver nicotine in an inhalable form.

In a speech at FDA headquarters, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said, “The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we’re seeing in youth and the resulting path to addiction must end.”

 

e-cigarettes
In this April 11, 2018, photo, an unidentified 15-year-old high school student uses a vaping device near the school’s campus in Cambridge, Mass. Health and education officials across the country are raising alarms over wide underage use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The devices heat liquid into an inhalable vapor that’s sold in sugary flavors like mango and mint — and often with the addictive drug nicotine. VOA

 

Until now, the FDA had eyed e-cigarettes as a powerful tool to help adults break their habit of using conventional tobacco products. But research has found little evidence of such products’ effectiveness.

Gottlieb admitted that the agency had neglected to take into account how attractive the flavored products would be to youths.

The commissioner said the FDA would continue to study e-cigarettes as a less harmful alternative for adult smokers, but “that work can’t come at the expense of kids.”

The FDA said it was giving the makers of Juul, Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic, the five top-selling brands, 60 days to present the agency with a viable plan to prevent vaping among children. If they fail, it could order the products off the market.

The five brands account for more than 97 percent of U.S. sales, according to the FDA.

 e-cigarettes
Packages of flavored liquids for e-cigarettes are seen displayed at a smoke shop in New York City. VOA

Critics have long argued that the manufacturers of e-cigarettes are deliberately targeting children by offering their products in sugary flavors.

Also Read: Daily Cigarette Smokers Develop Greater Risk of Heart Attack, Says Study

Gottlieb slammed the e-cigarette makers for approaching the problem of underage use as “a public relations challenge.”

“I’m here to tell them today that this prior approach is over,” he said. (VOA)