Abstract: Smoking is the inhalation of smoke of burning tobacco encased in cigarettes, pipes and cigars. Smoking is a modifiable risk factor of hearing loss. The aim of this study was to explore mean hearing thresholds among smokers and non-smokers in an automobile industry. In this cross-sectional study, 203 participants from an automobile industry were exposed to noise levels above the action level of 85 dBA where permissible exposure limits was 90 dBA. Universal sampling was adopted. Smoking history was obtained from a questionnaire. Noise level of the industry was measured using personal exposure noise dosimeter and sound level meter. Data on hearing threshold levels were measured using manual audiometer. The mean hearing threshold level on right ear of participants at 2000 Hz was statistically significantly higher among smokers compared to non-smokers (2.97 (95% CI, 0.41-5.53) dBA, t (201) = 2.29, p = 0.023, effect size = 0.38). The mean hearing threshold levels on left ear at 2000 and 3000 Hz were also statistically significantly higher among smokers compared to non-smokers (1.88 (95% CI, 0.01-3.75) dBA, t (201) = 1.99, p = 0.048, effect size = 0.31) and (3.18 (95% CI, 1.05-5.31) dBA, t (201) = 2.94, p = 0.004, effect size = 0.46). Hence, smokers showed worsening of hearing thresholds at 2000 (both ears) and 3000 Hz (left ear) in a noisy industry. Therefore, the industries should review their policy by banning smoking in the premise which may lower the risk of noise-induced hearing loss.
Balachandar S. Sayapathi and Anselm Ting Su, 2014. Effect of Smoking on Hearing Thresholds among Automobile Industry Workers. Research Journal of Biological Sciences, 9: 177-181.