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Is Your Cat or Dog a Passive Smoker?

Guest Post by Mel Bridge for Pet News and Views

The dangers of smoking tobacco have been well researched and highly documented. Data shows that smoking can harm you, your spouse, children and other people around you. What the data doesn’t cover is that smoking can harm cats and dogs.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals states that dogs living in a home with smokers are in danger of developing cancer of the nose or sinuses. Cancer of the nasal passage in a dog can cause it to die within a year. The ASPCA cites research conducted by Tufts College of Veterinary Medicine that smoking around cats increases their chances of getting cancer of the mouth and malignant lymphoma.

The effects of second-hand smoke on cats and dogs can be extremely harmful regardless of the breed. And aside from cancer, cats and dogs can develop allergies due to second-hand tobacco smoke. A pet scratching, biting, and chewing the skin may be suffering from an allergy. Fires and burns are another effect of smoking around pets. A playful dog or cat can jump on a smoking owner and get burned or knock over an ashtray and cause a fire.

Second-hand tobacco smoke is harmful to the health of other pets as well. Birds can get lung cancer and pneumonia while rabbits can suffer from heart problems. Nicotine is also highly toxic to pets so stray butts ingested by pets can cause serious harm.

A Positive Side Effect
A study by the Henry Ford Health System showed that smokers start to consider quitting when they become aware that smoking can harm their pets. Once informed that smoking is harmful to their pets, non-smokers urge relatives and friends to quit smoking or to smoke outdoors, away from their pets.

If you can’t get yourself to quit smoking for your own health, think of how it can harm your pets.

About the Author:
Mel Bridge is travel writer, animal lover and manager of a website which helps traveling pet and home owners find their ideal pet and house sitters.

28 comments to Is Your Cat or Dog a Passive Smoker?

  • Ginger

    Alot of people don’t think about second hand smoke when they are smoking.

  • Alison

    We don’t allow cigarette smoke in our house or car.

  • Randy

    Smoking is bad for everyone. Thanks for the guest post.

  • Avi

    It makes total sense that second hand smoke is bad. All smoke is bad for anyone who comes into contact with it.

  • Nora

    I live in NYC and it’s gotten so much better since smoking is banned in most places. I would love to see the city smoke-free.

  • Alison

    I don’t allow smoke in my house, car, or office. I really hate second hand smoke.

  • Nancy

    You are right Mel, if you can’t quit on your own, do it for your animals.

  • Naomi

    Second hand smoke kills too. Thanks for this post.

  • Rocky

    I admit that I still smoke. I know it’s a bad habit. I smoke away from my family and our pets. I’m trying to quit.

  • June

    I wish smoking was banned from the world. I know that is not possible. I travel a lot, and in parts of Europe and Asia the quality of the air is so bad. Even in outdoor cafes you can’t get away from second hand smoke.

  • Larry

    thanks Mel! Good guest post. We don’t allow cigarettes, cigars, or pipes in our house.

  • Lucy

    We hate cigarette and cigar smoke. Ugh. Thanks for this post.

  • MaryAlice

    Like your other readers, smoking is banned from our home and car.

  • Very important information to share….most pet owners have NO idea how harmful second hand smoke can be for their pets. Here are a few more details to add on to Mel’s excellent post: https://www.myvnn.com/page.asp?id=39&media_type=15&story_id=140

  • Toby

    I’m in a town that has banned smoking from parks. I like walking with my two dobermans and we don’t need to inhale someone’s smoke. It’s harmful.

  • Robert

    I agree with June. I was in China, and cigarette smoke was everywhere. It’s so bad you can’t breathe.

  • As always, thanks Tome!–Best, Michele

  • Eric

    Thanks Tom for your comment. I read the link on Veterinarian News Network. It’s a great site–very helpful–much like this one. This stood out from the post: “Most people understand that secondhand smoke from cigarettes contains an incredible number of hazardous substances and many of them are carcinogenic. These chemicals are found in high concentrations in carpets and on furniture around the home. Pets sharing this environment will get these toxins on their fur and then ingest them during normal grooming.”
    It makes sense–smoking is harmful to everyone–even our pets.

  • Rachel

    I also read the VNN article. When will people learn. I know it is hard to stop, but we shouldn’t start in the first place.

  • Kristen

    I see so many teenagers in my neighborhood smoking. It is so stupid. Maybe if they knew it harmed their pets, they would stop. I will share.

  • Ed

    I had a tough time quitting, but it is so worth it. I can enjoy my food, and my family doesn’t give me a hard time any more. I know they cared. We also have 2 dogs who don’t need to inhale the smoke. Thanks!

  • P. Elizabeth

    As usual, you bring us the best information about timely topics. This is a sore topic with me because I have family members who are succumbing to the dangers of smoking. It makes me so sad to see a person walking a dog and smoking a cigarette. Companion animals who live with smokers are at great risk, as are their human children and other family members.

  • Thank you for publishing this information. Very timely and helpful. I’ve been searching for more information on the topic for a friend who smokes and I forbid him to do it around my dog. Maybe this will help get the point across.

  • Bob

    I read that second hand smoke kills more people than illegal drugs. I’m glad to see this story on how it affects our pets. The link on Tomcat’s comment is quite helpful too.

  • Jeanine

    I love your site and hate cigarette smoke. Cigar smoke is disgusting too. Thanks for alerting us that smoking affects our pets too.

  • Gretchen

    Thanks for letting people know about the dangers of second hand smoke has on their pets. I’m sharing this with a friend who is trying to quit.

  • Thanks Eric and Rachel for the kind words and Michelle…you know I am always here to help!!

  • We do not allow smoking in our habitat. I hope that more humans will stop smoking not only for themselves but for everyone around them.