Finally, it’s about time.
Smoker or not, we have all seen the changes to cigarette packages over the years, including warning labels outlining the dangers of lighting up and the harm that they can do to themselves and others around them.
I am pleased that on June 19, the regulations will change again. From this date forward, retailers can only sell cigarettes that display the new health warnings. These new more prominent and graphic warnings will also finally warn smokers about their added risk of going blind.
AMD, or age-related macular degeneration, is the leading cause of vision loss in Canadians over 50. Primary and second-hand smoke is a major risk factor for AMD. In addition to AMD, smoking is also a risk factor for developing cataracts and vision loss from diabetic retinopathy.
It is my hope that Canada’s new regulations will alert many smokers about this risk, learning perhaps for the first time how they could be hurting their vision.
If the well-known risks with smoking are not enough to make you quit, please think about the implications of losing your sight.
CNIB, executive director – BC & Yukon Division