In the statement the European Coalition for Vision (ECV) welcomes the adoption of harmonised controls on the sale and supply of electronic cigarettes in Europe and due to questions over the impact of nicotine on eye health, puts forward the following recommendations:

. The ECV recognises the role that electronic cigarettes can play in helping smokers quit for good, particularly in light of the major causative and contributing role of tobacco in visual impairment in Europe.

. However according to the ECV, nicotine containing products must be regulated with caution given the strong suspected affect of nicotine on human eyes.

. ECV states that the safety assessments (proposed in the latest proposal of the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive) must explicitly assess the impact of the proposed level of nicotine on eye health.

. ECV also urges for the adoption of mechanisms to monitor these risks and call for further research to be undertaken into the effects of nicotine on the human eye.

. ECV also encourages Member States to implement restrictions on the use of electronic cigarettes in public spaces.


- The full European Coalition for Vision (ECV) statement on Damaging Effects of Smoking on Eye Health is available at the ECOO website


If you have any questions about this Statement please contact Mark Nevin from the European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO) on mark@fodo.com.

The European Coalition for Vision is an alliance of professional bodies, patient groups, European NGOs, disabled people’s organisations, trade associations representing suppliers and research groups. The ECV exists to raise the profile of eye health and vision, help prevent avoidable visual impairment, and secure an equal and inclusive society for those with irreversible blindness or low vision in Europe.

If you have any questions about the European Coalition for Vision, please contact Zoe Gray at the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) zgray@iapb.org.

Last modified on February 6 2014.