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    Smoking and your risk

    It's hard to quit, but smoking dramatically increases your risk of AMD.

    image shows graphic of two hands. One hand is offering cigarettes, the other is refusing.

    Smoking increases risk for AMD

    It’s been known for many years that smoking triples to quadruples your risk of getting age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

    Smokers also get AMD an average of five to 10 years earlier than non-smokers. They’re also more likely to get the more aggressive wet form of the disease. 

    New research from a large, government-funded study in the United States also shows that people who commence injections for wet AMD, but continue to smoke, do not respond as well to treatment.

    Smokers were more than twice as likely to be legally blind by five years, compared to non-smokers receiving injections. Most importantly however, smokers who give up when they start injections do almost as well as non-smokers. 

    So the message is clear. The earlier you give up smoking the better, but it is never too late to quit

    The Health Promotion Service, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, shared with MDFA what support is available to help you quit smoking. 

    Call Quitline 13 7848 (13 QUIT) for free professional quit smoking support and tools. Quitline advisors work with you to identify triggers, manage cravings and make a plan to help you quit and stay smoke free.

    A similar service is available through, where you will find more information and tools. You can join the iCanQuit community for quit smoking support and member stories. 

    Speak with your GP to find out if affordable Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and stop smoking medications are right for you. NRT and stop smoking medications can increase your chances of quitting. They are even more effective when combined with quit smoking counselling support.

    Reference: Ref: Ying G-S et al, ARVO Poster 886-A0065, May 2017

    Posted: 24 September 2020

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