The Association of Optometrists (AOP) will launch its anti-smoking campaign, Stub it out, which highlights the impact of smoking on eye health.
The AOP is a membership body for optometrists and other eye health professionals and we represent over 80% of the UK’s 15,000 optometrists. AOP members deliver over 20 million sight tests per year, as well as other eye health services in some parts of the country. Sight tests are crucial in detecting sight-threatening conditions.
In the AOP’s latest survey of its membership, it was revealed that 96% of optometrists see at least one patient per month who has eye disease that they believe is the result of smoking. The AOP’s membership ranked quitting smoking as the number one thing people should do to protect their eye health, followed closely by having regular sight tests and eating a healthy diet.
We know how much people value their sight – it is the sense they most fear losing – but research shows that while most people understand the link between smoking and conditions such as lung cancer and heart disease, fewer people are aware of the link to sight loss. Less than a fifth (18%) of the general population recognise the connection between eye health and smoking. 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.
However, smokers are four times as likely to develop age-related macular degeneration – the leading cause of sight loss in the UK – and are twice as likely to develop conditions which can lead to glaucoma and cataracts.
We hope that by highlighting this link, we can encourage people to ‘Stub it out’ and give up smoking for good.
We would be grateful if you could support the campaign by posting one of the following messages on social media, along with one of the attached images, from Tuesday 2 July onwards.
|I’m joining @the_aop in calling for smokers to look after their eyes and #StubItOut. Almost all optometrists examine patients every month who have an eye disease that they believe is the result of smoking. Let’s #StubItOut for good www.aop.org.uk/stubitout|
|We all know smoking causes cancer and other dreadful conditions, but did you know it can lead to sight loss too? @the_aop is raising awareness of this link with their Stub it out campaign: www.aop.org.uk/stubitout #StubItOut|
|This week @the_aop launched their #StubItOut campaign warning millions of smokers about the damage smoking is causing to their eyes. You can get involved by downloading a campaign pack which includes posters and an information leaflet: www.aop.org.uk/stubitout #StubItOut|
|Smoking is terrible for so many reasons. I’m pleased to see the @the_aop are raising awareness of the impact it has on eye health to encourage people to quit. #StubItOut www.aop.org.uk/stubitout|
|As a smoker you are twice as likely to lose your vision compared to a non-smoker, yet the link between smoking and sight threatening conditions is not always recognised. @the_aop are raising awareness of this with their #StubItOut campaign www.aop.org.uk/stubitout|
Alternatively, you can follow the AOP on twitter: @the_aop or Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/AssociationOfOptometrists/ and retweet or share our messages.