A public campaign designed to educate people about the links between smoking and sight loss has been launched by the organisers of National Eye Health Week (NEHW).
Launched on No Smoking Day today (9 March), the #20Ways campaign highlights 20 ways smoking damages the eyes and increases the risk of sight loss, aiming to tackle the gap in understanding about the harmful effects of smoking. The campaign has been established after research reported that a large number of the eight million smokers in Britain are unaware of the dangers that smoking has on their vision.
Chairman of NEHW, David Cartwright (pictured), explained: “Despite smokers being up to four times more likely to lose their sight than non-smokers, fewer than 10% realise their actions can affect their eye health. This compares to 92% associating smoking with lung cancer and 87% identifying a link between smoking and the risk of heart disease.”
Mr Cartwright added: “In a poll conducted by the Eyecare Trust, more than half (58%) of smokers said knowing that tobacco smoke could seriously harm their vision would be an incentive to quit. So explaining the many ways that tobacco smoke can affect the eyes seems like a logical first step to boost awareness and encourage smokers to quit for the sake of their eye health.”