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Value Your Eyesight? Then Don't Smoke

If someone you know still doesn't have enough motivation to quit smoking, you may want to let him or her know that the link between smoking and blindness is about as strong as the link between smoking and lung cancer.

This is because smoking is a chief cause of age-related macular degeneration, a progressive condition that is the number one cause of blindness in people over the age of 60 throughout the world.

A recent survey of 1023 adults in the United Kingdom indicates that 7 out of 10 smokers would either stop smoking permanently (41%) or cut down (28%) if they thought it could harm their eyesight. Makes sense, since it's human nature to not make changes to our food and lifestyle choices until we have enough motivation to do so.

The encouraging news is that people who stopped smoking 20 years ago have no greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and blindness than non-smokers. And the risk for former smokers starts to decrease 10 years after they stop smoking.

The link between smoking and blindness is so strong that the Age-Related Macular Degeneration Alliance of the United Kingdom and the Royal National Institute of the Blind are calling for clear warnings on cigarette packages.

 
 

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