Going Blind with Cigarettes and Cannabis: A Question Worth Asking?

The data seem clear enough – cigarette smokers are 4X more likely to suffer age-related macular degeneration, optic nerve damage, and retinopathy than non-smokers. The data seem so clear that science and medicine, the federal regulators, and the professional anti-smoking and anti-tobacco crusaders, all stop right there. Cigarette smoking causes blindness. A powerful message, and very true. But notice – regulators like FDA are very specific – it’s smoking cigarettes, not smoking tobacco, that causes blindness. That’s much more than word play.

And sure enough, an awful lot of smokers do go blind, or almost blind, as they get older. 

Somehow nobody asks the question “What is it, specifically, about smoking cigarettes that’s causing smokers to go blind?”

Here’s an answer that has apparently never been considered worth considering.

We know that chronic pesticide exposure is strongly associated with macular degeneration, optic nerve damage, and retinopathy. However, because there have been exactly zero studies on the topic, nobody has connected the dots to see that tobacco products create chronic inhaled pesticide exposure for 40 million American smokers.

A corollary question that has also not once been asked, much less tested, is whether smoking organic tobacco free of pesticide residues reduces the risk of eye disease. 

Another critically important issue is whether inhaling pesticides from Cannabis is threatening the eye health of millions of Cannabis flower smokers, and whether smoking organic pesticide-free Cannabis might eliminate that threat to their vision. 

When you look over the data below, it’s pretty clear that cigarette smokers are exposed to clinically significant concentrations of a wide range of pesticides with every puff. No government agency regulates or inspects cigarettes for pesticides, so it’s not surprising that smokers are going blind while their doctors haven’t got a clue beyond “smoking”.

We also know that most Cannabis smokers are inhaling pesticides because licensed growers in every state are allowed to use them, within supposedly rational, but actually specious EPA-based regulatory standards, and because Black Market Cannabis is as badly contaminated with pesticides as the worst tobacco products. Young and middle-aged Cannabis smokers may be at totally unrecognized risk of going blind in their old age because of the pesticides they’re inhaling now.

So my question, and I hope yours too, is:

If smokers were inhaling organic, pesticide-free tobacco cigarettes and organic Cannabis flowers, without having to make any other behavioral change, wouldn’t that reduce and maybe eliminate their risk of developing multiple eye diseases?  

Isn’t that a question worth asking?

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