The Impact of Smoking on Your Vision

There are numerous reasons to stop smoking, but research from the US has established a clear link between vision loss and tobacco use, giving smokers one more reason to consider putting down that lighter.

Cigarettes are already one of the world’s leading causes of death, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) attributing 6 million deaths per year to smoking, 600,000 of which are from second-hand smoke. In fact, one person dies from a smoking-related condition every six seconds worldwide, and tobacco use will kill up to 50% of those who smoke.

The list of conditions related to smoking is already extremely long, and it has long been suggested that tobacco use could have a negative impact on your eye health. But recent research suggests a strong links between smoking and blindness.

The two leading causes of blindness worldwide are AMD (age-related macular degeneration) and cataracts, and smokers are twice as likely to develop AMD, and three times as likely to develop cataracts (compared to a non-smoker).  Those are striking statistics, and should be cause for concern for anyone who smokes regularly.


In the UK, AMD is the leading cause of blindness, and a recent study confirms the US findings, suggesting that one quarter of all UK AMD cases (more than 50,000 cases) may be attributable to smoking in people aged over 69.


Data taken from ‘How Smoking Can Affect Your Eyesight’, an infographic by Shade Station, a leading retailer of designer eyewear including Oakley, Ray Ban, Oliver Peoples and Chanel sunglasses – you can visit them online, or at one of their UK retail stores.