Impact of interventions on tobacco use morbidity and mortality
Optometry staff are in a unique position to identify early signs of oxidative and vascular changes in the eye as a result of smoking.
This damage can lead to more significant conditions such as;
- Grave’s ophthalmopathy,
- age-related macular degeneration and
- potential blindness.
Fear of blindness is of greater concern for most people compared to the fear of other smoking related conditions, yet the majority of smokers are unaware of the impacts of smoking on their eye health.
By providing brief advice to quit smoking, optometry staff can educate their patients on the effects of smoking on their eye health and how quitting smoking could decrease their chances of developing vision loss over time.
Evidence to support tobacco dependence interventions in optometry settings
- Smoking and Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Review article.
- Patient Tobacco Use in Optometric Practice: A Canada-Wide Study: Article abstract
- Smoking Cessation Referrals and Optometrists Assessing Practices and Opportunities in Canada: Related presentation
- Smoking Cessation Counselling Practices Among Québec Optometrists: Evaluating Beliefs, Practices, Barriers and Needs : Article abstract
Examples of evidence-based practice systems
Tobacco-Free Outdoor Policies and Procedures
Make a tobacco-free property policy for the grounds outside of your office space by speaking to the property owner or landlord.
Tips and tools on how to create policies and procedures for your office space:
Examples of patient assessment and pharmacotherapy tools
- Free stop smoking medications are available in Ontario.
Resources for optometry staff and clients
The Propel Centre for Population Health Impact: Smoking and Your Eye Health brochures and posters
Download in English and French for use by optometrists and the public. Hard-copy resources free of charge, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org your contact information including mailing address and required quantity
Contact your local Public Health Unit or Smokers’ Helpline for requests to adapt resources.
Resources Tailored for Optometric Patients and Staff:
|Eyecare & Smoking Fact Sheet
Training opportunities for staff
Training opportunities for brief contact intervention with clients, as well more intensive interventions are available.
- Optometry and Vision Science – Smoking and age-related macular degeneration: biochemical mechanisms and patient support
- Clin Exp Optom – Raising awareness of blindness as another smoking-related condition: a public health role for optometrists?
- Optometry – Knowledge about the relationship between smoking and blindness in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia: results from the International Tobacco Control Four-Country Project