Researchers Find Link Between Secondhand Smoke, Ear Infections

Secondhand smoking has been shown to raise ear infection risks

New research may show exactly what can decrease the number of ear infection cases in America. Researchers from Harvard were analyzing the effects of secondhand smoke and found that as secondhand smoke exposure decreased, so did the number of middle ear infection (otitis media) cases.

The study can be found in the online journal Tobacco Control.

Further illustrating the importance of keeping households smoke free, the study is the first to analyze the direct, short-term benefits for children in non-smoking homes. Avoiding smoking at home can effectively limit the number of doctor and hospital visits for what is the most common cause in children — ear infections.

The United States Surgeon General explained there is enough evidence linking secondhand smoke and the negative effects on children, specifically in terms of ear infections.

The yearly health costs of ear infections may be higher than $5 billion, and the number of cases has been as high as 25 million children in a single year.

Experts explain that a smoke-free home is vital for keeping children healthy and for promoting long-term health.