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Position Statement: Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke

Position Statement: Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the world. The negative health effects of the use of tobacco products represent a global pandemic of enormous proportions. Ear, nose and throat manifestations of second-hand tobacco exposure include, but are not limited to, significant increase in incidence of middle ear infections in children with attendant hearing loss and language delay, chronic rhinitis, and sinusitis. Ear, nose, and throat manifestations of primary tobacco use – smoked, chewed, or dipped – include, but are not limited to, cancer of the lips, mouth, throat, and voice box (larynx); chronic rhinitis and sinusitis; chronic cough; gum disease; and precancerous lesions of the mouth and throat. In light of the volume of literature and scientific documentation of these negative health effects, the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery supports state and federal legislation and regulations that will help to reduce the use of tobacco products and exposure to secondhand smoke in order to promote healthy environments and lifestyles for the public.

Adopted: 6/6/2009
Reaffirmed: 9/28/2013

Important Disclaimer Notice (Updated 7/31/14)

Position statements are approved by the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery or Foundation (AAO-HNS/F) Boards of Directors and are typically generated from AAO-HNS/F committees. Once approved by the Academy or Foundation Board of Directors, they become official position statements and are added to the existing position statement library. In no sense do they represent a standard of care. The applicability of position statements, as guidance for a procedure, must be determined by the responsible physician in light of all the circumstances presented by the individual patient. Adherence to these clinical position statements will not ensure successful treatment in every situation. As with all AAO-HNS/F guidance, this position statement should not be deemed inclusive of all proper treatment decisions or methods of care, nor exclusive of other treatment decisions or methods of care reasonably directed to obtaining the same results. Position statements are not intended to and should not be treated as legal, medical, or business advice.

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