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Smoking and Eye Health

The Stoptober campaign has been launched by Public Health England (PHE) and should so far see smokers just over their first week off the cigarettes. An ambitious project to ask the millions of smokers in Britain to give up for one whole month I think but if you can do it for a month, surely you can do it forever! I suppose that’s the inherent message. According to the PHE, it is x5 times more probable that those who break the habit for 28 days, will stay off the fags for life. Seemingly, the number of smokers in Britain dropped significantly last year after the Stoptober campaign so it’s got to be worth a go.

With 100,000 people dying from a smoke related illness each year in Britain, more importantly, 600,000 adults AND children die every year across the globe from secondhand smoking. Things really need to change and soon, but the Stoptober campaign advertises itself as the fun way to quit smoking.

The month of October also brings us World Sight Day on the 9th of October. This year the Public Health Agency (PHA) is focusing hugely on the effects of smoking on eye health. People always associate smoking with illnesses such as lung cancer or heart disease, but in fact, vision is seriously affected by smoking, even complete loss of sight is a possible side effect of smoking. The eyes are very fragile and chemicals found in cigarettes and the smoke from tobacco can interfere with the cornea, tear production, and blood vessels inside of the eye, to name but a few associated problems.

Unfortunately, stopping smoking won’t reverse any damage done to the eyes but it will stop the associated problems worsening and stave off more serious complications associated with smoking and the eyes and, overall health.

Stoptober is an exciting challenge and if you’ve missed the first few days, start now by yourself, knowing that thousands of others are in the same boat for the worst of the withdrawal symptoms. This month could be the beginning of the rest of your life.

You can read more about Stoptober here.