Wednesday, November 17, 2010


BBC News - People who are exposed to the second-hand smoke from others’ cigarettes are at increased risk of hearing loss, experts believe. Doctors already know that people who smoke can damage their hearing. The latest study in the journal “Tobacco Control”, involving more than 3,000 US adults, suggests the same is true of passive smoking. Experts believe tobacco smoke may disrupt blood flow in the small vessels of the ear. This could starve the organ of oxygen and lead to a build up of toxic waste, causing damage. The harm is different to that caused by noise exposure or simple ageing. In the study, the researchers from the University of Miami and Florida International University looked at the hearing test results of 3,307 non-smoking volunteers - some who were ex-smokers and some who had never smoked in their lifetime. The tests measured range of hearing over low, mid and high noise frequencies.

To assess passive smoke exposure, the volunteers had their blood checked for a byproduct of nicotine, called “cotinine”, which is made when the body comes into contact with tobacco smoke. This revealed that people exposed to second-hand smoke were far more likely to have poorer hearing than others, and to a degree where they might struggle to follow a conversation in the presence of background noise. Passive smoking increased their risk of hearing loss across all sound frequencies by about a third. Dr David Fabry, who led the research, said: “We really do not know exactly how much smoke you need to be exposed to in order to be at increased risk. But we do know that the threshold for damage is very low.”

Regular active smoking is a significant risk factor leading to hearing loss and this new study is important as it highlights the increased risks posed by passive smoking too. Anarthas or unwanted things lie in the heart and they attract raja-guna and tamo-guna to cover us our understanding with its mantle of illusion; and then we no longer know what is good or not. It often happens that we used to live with that internal debris, and while we realize that “this is bad” - such as smoking or being intoxicated - we equally tolerate and justify it, and this is called “vice” o “addiction” in the West.

At the very beginning our anarthas are very rough, clear, heavy, such as the act of eating meat, intoxication, illicit sex, gambling, etc. Then, when you stop doing that, it’s not that a real change is coming, the anarthas are still there. But now, there are more subtle anarthas, those who are keeping our material consciousness, our material attachments. ... We are too lazy in order to want to eradicate anarthas. That should be the true goal of human life. We must eliminate our anarthas, cleanse all the sins from our lives. ... Srila Prabhupada tells us that the only way to drag anarthas and to destroy them is through dedication. Dedication is the only thing that will become us helpful, and to be useful is just the opposite to the cultivation of anarthas. Anartha is something unnecessary. We are full of anarthas. We believe that we can not live without them, that they are part of our nature, whereas a Vaisnava says, “You can live without such a nature, without envy, without lust, without egotism!”

Śrīla Atulananda Ācārya :
“A Vaishnava Piece of Advice”
“How to Eliminate Anartha”


Anonymous said...

This is such a great and awesome post. Thank you for sharing.

hearingaustintx said...

Smoking is a very dangerous addiction. There are lots of people who die because of passive smoking. I never thought that it can also cause you hearing loss.