Can Your Smoking Harm Your Pet?


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If you are a smoker, there is possibly no way for you to have not heard about the harm cigarettes and tobacco can cause. However, you still continue to smoke for a wide range of reasons, which, is fine considering that itโ€™s ultimately your choice to do so. But, there are other โ€œpeopleโ€ around you who have no choice and the ones we are taking about arenโ€™t the two legged kind. Yes! Weโ€™re talking about your pet. In case, you werenโ€™t aware, pets are vulnerable to cigarette smoke and your habit is probably ruining their health.Youโ€™re probably wondering how your smoking habits can affect your dog or cat etc. Well, it all has to do with second-hand smoke. second-hand smoke refers to the smoke you exhale and release into the air. This is unknowingly inhaled by the people and other animals around you. Apart from second-hand smoke, you also have what is known as third-hand smoke. Third-hand smoke is the residual smoke left on furniture, fur, skin etc. Both, second-hand and third-hand smoke are just as deadly as the smoke you inhale as a smoker.

Research based evidence

There have been several studies conducted to understand the effect of second and third-hand smoke on animals. Most of them have offered the conclusion that pets are harmed as a result of the ownerโ€™s smoking habit. For example, A Tufts University study, conducted in 2002, found that second-hand smoke and cancer in cats were linked. The study investigated cats living with owner who smoked. It was found that these cats had double the chance of developing feline cancer compared to cats living in non-smoking homes. Around 3 out of 4 cats die of lymphoma every year.In 1998, a study, conducted by Colorado University and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that dogs living with smokers had a higher incidence of sinus cancer and nasal tumors than dogs that lived in smoke-free environments. It was also observed that breeds with longer snouts, such as the German Shepherd or Labrador/Golden Retriever, were more susceptible to these problems. Whatโ€™s worse is that dogs affected by these conditions die within a year or so.

The good news

But, itโ€™s all not bad. There is some good news for owners and animal lovers. A study conducted in 2008 and published in the Journal of Tobacco Control, found that around 1/3rd of pet-owners who smoked would be motivated to quit if they knew the dangers that second-hand smoke posed to their pets.So, if youโ€™re an animal lover, do let your smoking and pet-owning friends known about this. If youโ€™re a pet owner, you have one more excellent reason to drop the habit.

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