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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Can cigarette smoke CAUSE ear infection?

03/19/2001

Question:

I know that cigarette smoke can affect an ear infection, but can it actually be the cause of it? My child is a year old, and she has had two ear infections requiring medication.

Answer:

Exposure to cigarette smoke is associated with increased ear infections and increased respiratory tract infections. A child exposed to cigarette smoke has a 6 times greater chance of needing surgical placement of PET`s due to the repeated ear infections compared to a child who is not exposed.

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Response by:

Sally R Shott, MD Sally R Shott, MD
Professor of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati