Smoke-Free Homes Good For Little Ears

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Today is World No Tobacco Day and there is never a better time to quit smoking than now. There are plenty of personal health reasons for giving up tobacco, but if you have children we have one more for you.

Did you know that exposure to secondhand smoke increases your child’s risk of developing an ear infection?¹ These kids also have fluid in their ears more often and undergo more operations to put in ear tubes than kids with non-smoking parents.²

Secondhand smoke is thought to contribute to ear problems in several ways.

Exposure to tobacco smoke:

  1. increases mucus production,
  2. damages the cilia (fine hairs) lining the eustachian tube that help transport mucus,
  3. weakens the immune system’s ability to fight against organisms that cause ear infections

When you quit you will have a healthier home and family, and that is a great gift! Ready to say goodbye to tobacco and need some help? You’ll find some great resources at to help you on that journey.



1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006.
2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Fact Sheet, Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke (Accessed May 2014)
3. Greene, A. 1997. The Parent’s Complete Guide to Ear Infections. New York: Avon Books.  

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