How Smoking Both E-cigarettes and Cigarettes Affects Your Eyes


Smoking is known to have harmful effects on your health, but did you know that it can also affect your eyes? A recent study found that adolescents and young adults who smoke both e-cigarettes and cigarettes have more severe and frequent ocular symptoms than those who use only one or none of these products.

The Study

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of California San Francisco and published in JAMA Ophthalmology. They surveyed more than 4,300 participants aged 13 to 24 years about their use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes at three time periods: ever, within the past 30 days, and in the past seven days. They also asked them about their vision-related outcomes, such as itching, redness, dryness, glare, blurriness, headaches, pain, and burning.

How Smoking Both E-cigarettes and Cigarettes Affects Your Eyes
How Smoking Both E-cigarettes and Cigarettes Affects Your Eyes

The researchers adjusted their analysis for sociodemographic factors, contact lens use, and other combustible substance use. They found that over half of the respondents had ever used one or both smoking modalities (2,168 never users and 2,183 ever users), and about a quarter had used them in the last 30 days (1,092 participants). Additionally, 919 had used e-cigarettes or cigarettes in the past seven days.

Among those who had ever used e-cigarettes, 55.9% also used cigarettes (referred to as “dual users” in this study).

The Results

The results showed that dual users had a higher likelihood of experiencing more severe and frequent ocular symptoms than users of a single tobacco product. For example, between 1.1% and 3.9% of those who had ever been dual users reported severe to very severe ocular symptoms, which were experienced daily by between 0.9% and 4.3%. These proportions were higher than that observed in e-cigarette- or cigarette-only users.

Moreover, the researchers found that the more recent the use of these products, the more symptoms were reported. Compared with all other participants, those who reported dual use in the past seven days had more severe itching, redness, dryness, glare, blurriness, headaches and more frequent pain, burning and redness. Past 30-day dual users also experienced more severe dryness and more frequent pain than all other participants. Those who were ever dual users had more severe dryness and blurriness and more frequent pain and blurriness than those who never used e-cigarettes or cigarettes.

The Implications

The study is one of the first to investigate the potential effects of e-cigarette use on the eye. The researchers suggested that the ocular symptoms may be caused by the exposure to both cigarette and potential e-cigarette toxicants, such as nicotine, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavorings, metals, and other chemicals.

They also noted that their findings have important implications for public health and clinical practice. They recommended that health care providers should screen for e-cigarette and cigarette use among adolescents and young adults and counsel them on the risks of these products for their eyes and overall health. They also urged for more research on the long-term effects of e-cigarette use on the eye and other organs.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here