A Cross-sectional Study on Olfactory Function among Young Adult Smokers


  • Maria Cristina C. da Silva Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery,St. Luke’s Medical Center
  • Windolyn D. Panganiban Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery,St. Luke’s Medical Center




Olfaction, Smoking, Hyposmia, Anosmia


Objective: To determine the olfactory function and/ or dysfunction of young adults who are cigarette smokers using a locally validated smell identification test.


Design: Cross-sectional study


Setting: Tertiary hospital in Metro Manila


Patients: The volunteer study group was composed of 60 male and 21 female students and employees of a tertiary hospital and its affiliated medical school (both in Quezon City). All subjects were young adults within the age range of 20-35 years with a mean age of 27. 58 years (±4.33). All the subjects were currently smoking cigarettes with no medical history of recent viral infection, nasal/sinus surgery, nasal/brain tumors, head trauma, radiotherapy, chronic rhinitides in exacerbation or tracheostomy. Olfactory function of each subject was evaluated using the Sto. Tomas Smell Identification Test (ST-SIT) which is a locally-validated test.


Results: Majority of the subjects fell within the 24-27 age group with a mean age of 27.58 years (±4.33). Males outnumbered females 74.1% as against 25.9%. An inverse relation between pack years and ST-SIT score was present indicating that there could be a dose-related effect of cigarette smoking on olfactory function.

Among the 81 subjects, 15 (18.5%) turned out to be anosmic, 46 (56.7%) were hyposmic and 20 (24.6%) had normal olfactory function. A mean ST-SIT score was computed at 81.183 (±}12.58), indicating that majority of the subjects had olfactory dysfunction, meaning they were hyposmic.


Conclusion: Smoking cigarettes has become part of the lifestyle of a lot of people in spite of its hazards to health. In the present study, a majority of supposedly healthy young adults who currently smoked cigarettes were proven to suffer from olfactory impairment based on the scores of a locally-validated smell identification test. An inverse relation between ST-SIT scores and pack years was also noted which may indicate a dose-related effect of smoking on olfactory function.


Keywords: Olfaction, Smoking,, Hyposmia, Anosmia



Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

da Silva MCC, Panganiban WD. A Cross-sectional Study on Olfactory Function among Young Adult Smokers. Philipp J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg [Internet]. 2006 Nov. 29 [cited 2023 Dec. 1];21(1-2):28-30. Available from: https://pjohns.pso-hns.org/index.php/pjohns/article/view/827