Cigarettes and cataract formation linked

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Baltimore, Maryland: Quitting smoking, Johns Hopkins University researchers claim, may reduce the incidence of cataract formation by more than 50%.

The study is the first to find that aging alone is not the cause of cataract formation. As the lens clouding worsens, all types of cataracts can lead to blindness. Millions of patients, of all ages, are afflicted in the United States.

Discovery of the tobacco-cataract relationship has been heralded by many scientists as equal to the smoking-lung cancer link.

A theory has been proposed to explain the phenomenon of cataract formation among smokers. Dr. Sheila West, who headed the study, speculated that ingredients present in cigarette smoke are carried internally to the eyes when inhaled and may contribute to the damage.

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