This No-Smoking Day, Barnsley Council and Yorkshire Smokefree are encouraging Barnsley residents to quit smoking, while reminding people of the link between smoking and sight-loss. Any amount of smoking, even light, occasional or second-hand can affect your eye health and increase your chances of suffering a sight-threatening eye disease.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable illness and early death. It’s linked to 16 different cancers and can cause damage to your eyes and sight. Smoking is a key risk factor for age-related macular degeneration, which is the UK’s leading cause of blindness. It is also a risk factor in development of cataracts and thyroid eye disease. The link between smoking and sight-loss is as strong as the link between smoking and lung cancer.
Barnsley Council supports the smoke-free agenda as part of the Breathe 2025 vision, where the next generation of children are born and raised in a borough which is free from tobacco and where smoking is rarely seen.
Anyone who needs support with quitting smoking can find a range of help, both online and in person, from Yorkshire Smokefree. Research shows that people who get the right support are up to four times as likely to quit successfully.
Cllr Jim Andrews, Cabinet Spokesperson for Barnsley Council Public Health, said: “In 2016, 79.4 per cent of Barnsley adults didn’t smoke, and in 2018, that figure increased to 82.6 per cent. Although this is a fantastic move in the right direction, we want even more residents to get the support they need to quit.
“I’d like to remind residents that your eye health should be checked every two years by an optician.”
Amanda Longdon, Service Manager for Yorkshire Smokefree Barnsley, said: “Not many smokers are aware that they are twice as likely as non-smokers to lose their sight. Smoking can cause and worsen a number of eye conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration and optic neuropathy, some of which can lead to permanent loss of vision. Smokers who want to avoid smoking-related vision loss can quit smoking, which will improve their chances of avoiding eye disease or blindness.”
This news is linked to Town Spirit, our new way of working better together. We believe, that if everyone in Barnsley does just one thing, we can make our borough a more welcoming place to live, work, invest and visit.
#LiveIt helps us to support the most vulnerable people, making sure they can access support at the earliest possible stage. #OwnIt by keeping your own and your family's health at its best, asking for support when you need it and looking out for your friends and neighbours.