PurposeTo evaluate the association between cigarette smoking and glaucoma in the United States population.Patients and methodsUS civilian, non-institutionalized population from 2005 to 2008 administrations of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey that were ≥40 years of age with visual fields and optic disc photographs were included. Diagnosis of glaucoma was based on the Rotterdam criteria. Logistic regression modeling was performed to assess the association between glaucoma and smoking history, while controlling for age, gender, ethnicity, household income, alcohol consumption, diabetes, and hypertension.ResultsIn 3864 participants, 212 (5.5%) had glaucoma (corresponds to a population weighted glaucoma prevalence of 3.7% in a total of 83 570 127 subjects). Population weighted proportion of current smokers was 20.6% and ex-smokers was 28.3%. Participants with glaucoma were older (63.0±11.6 vs 56.1±11.2, P=0.002), likely to be male (57.1% vs 49.2%, P=0.03), to be Black (36.3% vs 20.7%, P<0.001), and to have diabetes (18.9% vs 12.4%, P=0.006) and hypertension (50.5% vs 39.7%, P=0.003). Current smokers had a lower odds of glaucoma compared to non-smokers (OR=0.61, 95% CI=0.41-0.88, P=0.009), and ex-smokers (OR=0.46, 95% CI=0.28-0.76, P=0.002). The effect estimates were similar in adjusted models, but not statistically significant. Among smokers, greater pack/day of smoking history was associated with statistically significantly higher odds of glaucoma (OR=1.70, 95% CI=1.08-2.67, P=0.02).ConclusionsAmong cigarette smokers, heavy smoking defined by greater number of pack of cigarettes smoked per day is associated with higher odds of glaucoma. Health care providers should include this association when counseling patients on their smoking habit.