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"The UK's 13 million smokers are at least twice as likely as non-smokers to lose their sight in later life yet most people are not even aware of this extra reason to give up.

The link between smoking and AMD (age-related macular degeneration) is as robust as the link between smoking and lung cancer, yet few people know this or have even heard of AMD. AMD is the UK's leading cause of sight loss - there are around 500,000 people in the UK with the condition - and an estimated 54,000 people have the condition as a result of smoking."

It would be nice if they had said how many smokers have AMD not related to smoking; but, going with what they say, I find this.

Smokers are about 25% of the UK population.

13 million divided by 54,000 is 1 AMD per 241 smokers.

39 million divided by 450,000 is 1 AMD per 87 nonsmokers.

My math and logic must be bad; because, I certainly do not see proof for what they claim.

Gary K.


You are spot on with this. I remember reading an article in a newspaper (Metro) about this nearly 2 years ago. I did the same maths and wrote to them the following:
The numbers in your article on AMD do not add up. You say 500,000 people in the UK have this condition - 54,000 as a result of smoking. If 23% of the population are smokers (and you state that 13 million of us are) then if smoking had no effect on AMD, I would expect that figure to be around 115,000 not 54,000. The way your article presents this, smoking helps prevent the condition. Thanks for tip!"

Needless to say my letter wasn't published!