Ocular symptoms more likely in people who both smoke and vape

A study of young people aged between 13 and 24 found that users of both e-cigarettes and cigarettes had a higher frequency of eye problems


New research published in JAMA Ophthalmology has highlighted that young people who both smoke and vape are more likely to experience ocular symptoms than those who use one form of tobacco product.

The study, which was led by McGill University in Canada and Stanford University in the US, examined the e-cigarette and cigarette use of 4351 young people between the ages of 13 and 24.

In the survey group, 919 people had used e-cigarettes in the past seven days, with more than half of e-cigarette users (56%) also smoking cigarettes.

Dual users were more likely to have more frequent and severe ocular symptoms than others in the study group.

Compared to all other participants, dual-users who had smoked or vaped in the past seven days were more than twice as likely to experience severe ocular itching, dryness, redness, blurriness and headaches.

“These findings provide additional reasons for users of e-cigarettes and cigarettes to reduce their tobacco use to possibly prevent or minimise ocular symptoms,” the study authors highlighted.

The scientists observed that the association between ocular symptoms and the dual-use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes may be attributable to several factors.

They highlighted that smoking may be a risk factor for dry eye disease.

“As combustible cigarette puffs involve free radicals, cigarette use can increase oxidative stress and inflammation. The oxidative attacks produced by radicals can damage the tear film lipid and may lead to ocular symptoms seen in dry eye disease,” the authors shared.