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Hearing loss linked to passive smoking

Hearing loss may be another passive smoking peril faced by teenagers, a study has found.

Inhaling other people's tobacco smoke almost doubled the risk of impaired hearing among adolescents, scientists discovered.

Levels of hearing loss were mild but potentially enough to affect performance in the classroom.

Exposure to second-hand smoke has already been linked to a range of dangers in both children and adults.

Living with a smoker is known to raise the risk of dying from heart disease and lung cancer. In children, it worsens the severity of asthma attacks and can lead to middle-ear infections.

The new US study looked at health data on more than 1,500 children and teenagers aged 12 to 19.

Participants were seen at their homes and given extensive hearing tests.