July witnessed the launch of a new campaign by the Association of Optometrists (AOP) called ‘Stub It Out’ with the goal of helping smokers to quit highlighting the impact that it has on eye health.
According to a recent survey by the AOP as part of the annual Voice of Optometry panel, 96% of all optometrists surveyed said that they examine a patient every month who has eye disease that they believe is the result of smoking. Indeed, education regarding the connection between eye issues related to smoking is low with only 18% of the public recognising the link between the two. This is compared to 76% who link cancer and smoking; 66% who link it with heart disease and 64% who recognise the connection between bronchitis and smoking.
The campaign launched on the 2nd of July aims to draw attention to the startling statics and connection between many eye issues and smoking. Optometrist and AOP Head of Clinical and Regulatory, Henry Leonard said: ‘Smokers are up to four times more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration – the leading cause of sight loss in the UK and twice as likely to develop conditions which can lead to glaucoma and cataracts. There are of course numerous health reasons to stop smoking but we hope that highlighting these additional risks will give many smokers who are considering quitting, that last little push.’
An outdoor advertising campaign will be rolled out in areas that have some of the highest levels of smoking in the UK including London, Glasgow and Manchester. For more information on Stub It Out visit: http://www.aop.org.uk/advice-and-support/for-patients/stub-it-out