We’re all familiar with the dangers of smoking – the link between smoking and lung cancer, heart disease and numerous other life-threatening illnesses is well established. According to WHO (World Health Organisation), there are 6 million deaths every year as a result of smoking, approximately 600,000 of which are due to exposure to second-hand smoke. Incredibly, smoking kills up to half of all people who use tobacco worldwide, and is responsible for 20% of all deaths each year in the United States.
Despite the clear dangers of tobacco use however, millions of people all over the world still choose to smoke, both in the Western world and in developing countries. Clearly, people need more of an incentive to give up, and new research may have provided that incentive, suggesting there is a strong link between smoking and vision loss.
This new infographic from Shade Station covers the topic in more detail, and should you need another reason to give up smoking, this may well give you the push you need:
At the end of 2014, the U.S Surgeon General published a report confirming that AMD (age-related macular degeneration) can be caused by smoking. AMD destroys the central vision that you need to read, drive and see people’s faces, and can leave you legally blind (in fact it’s the leading cause of blindness registration in the UK). 8.7% of visual impairments in all areas of the world are caused by AMD, and research published in 2015 suggested that one quarter of all AMD cases in the UK (over 50,000 cases) may be attributable to smoking in people aged over 69 years.
Similarly, smoking has been linked to cataracts, which is responsible for 47.9% of visual impairments worldwide and is the leading cause of blindness in all areas of the world. Recent research has shown that smokers are three times more likely to develop cataracts compared to a non-smoker.
So, isn’t it about time you finally made the decision to quit?