Transient effects of smoking on the eye

Nisar Latif, Shehzad A. Naroo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To investigate the immediate short-term effects of smoking in habitual smokers, on the tear film, pupil size and accommodative ability of the human eye.

Habitual smokers were tested within 5 min of smoking a cigarette. The tear film analysis was undertaken using tear break–up time (TBUT), tear lipid layer thickness and tears meniscus height (TMH) measurements. Three different ways of tear break–up time (TBUT) were used; using fluorescein; a non-invasive TBUT using tearscope; and a video captured method with a corneal topographer. Pupil size was measured objectively using the video capture on the corneal topographer. Accommodative ability was checked by performing a ‘push up test' to measure amplitudes of accommodation (AoA) and by measuring defocus curves.

Forty-five participants were enrolled (mean age 22.0 ± 4.4 years). TBUT was reduced after smoking a cigarette with all three assessment methods and this reduction was statistically significant (p < 0.001). A reduction in lipid layer thickness was seen after smoking a cigarette with both methods used and was statistically significant (p < 0.01). A significant reduction in pupil size (p < 0.01) and in AoA (p < 0.001) was observed after smoking a cigarette. The difference in TMH and defocus curves, before and after smoking, were not statistically significant (p > 0.05).

The study shows that there is an immediate adverse effect of smoking on TBUT and AoA which seems to be very transient.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101595
JournalContact Lens and Anterior Eye
Issue number5
Early online date6 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of British Contact Lens Association. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND licence 4.0


  • Pupil
  • Smoking
  • Tear break–up time
  • The amplitude of accommodation


Dive into the research topics of 'Transient effects of smoking on the eye'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this