Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Smoking and AMD

Diseases related to cigarette smoking now include age-related macular degeneration, or AMD. AMD is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the US, with smokers up to four times more likely to develop the disease as nonsmokers, according to a recent study from Great Britain.

Sheila West, professor of ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins, says since we are already on the verge of an epidemic of AMD related blindness due to our aging population, this is yet one more reason for smokers to quit.

There's reason to recommend smoking cessation now not just for general health, but for a number of other conditions to which are now added prevention of cataract and macular degeneration.

Smoking is more likely to be related to the severe forms of AMD and more likely to result in blindness.


Celeste said...

If smoking is so bad, why is tobacco growing still legal and a big money crop in North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Tina said...

Growing tobacco is still legal because it makes money. Politicians don't have the guts to make it illegal even though they know it's as or more harmful than marijuana.

Steven said...

As an admirer of former vice president Al Gore, I’m glad to hear that he no longer smokes or supports the tobacco industry. His sister, a smoker, died of lung cancer. In his senate campaign six years after his sister's death, Mr. Gore openly accepted campaign contributions from the political action committees of Philip Morris, Brown and Williams Tobacco Corp., RJR/Nabisco and the Smokeless Tobacco Council. And for several years after his sister died he continued to cash annual checks from the proceeds of his family's tobacco farm.

Asked why he continued to accept political contributions from the tobacco industry and to profit from tobacco farming, both politically and financially, for years after his sister's death, Mr. Gore replied, "It takes time to fully absorb the most important lessons of life."
Washington Times, July 25, 1999.

Dr. Lucia said...

Hey, what's your point here? A questionable Al Gore quote from 1999 is really really old news.

And you glossed over the fact that Al Gore did give up his income from tobacco farming, which almost NO large tobacco farmers have been willing to do.

And find me a national politician who has not accepted contributions from the tobacco industry.

This is a science-based blog, so don't knock the man who dared to stand up against an administration that completely ignores The National Academy of Science.

Jeffrey Anshel, OD said...

Politics and money aside, I always find it interesting when a smoker with AMD shows up for an exam. All I do is shrug my shoulders and say, "sorry- it's your choice".
I've even had one of those patients say that he quit "everything else" but smoking was the one thing he was hanging on to!!

BUT as an ex-smoker, I realize the challenges of quitting. Not easy but considering the consequences, it's really a matter of life-or-death!