Our General Practitioners and successive US Surgeon Generals has warned us since the 1960’s about secondhand tobacco smoke as a serious health hazard. But can it hurt our pets too?
By: Vanessa Uy
Scores of US Surgeon Generals - together with the rest of the medical community – has been warning the general public for almost 50 years now about secondhand tobacco / cigarette smoke being a serious health hazard to humans. Unfortunately, the health-related hazards posed by secondhand tobacco smoke can also seriously undermine the long-term health of pets owned by smokers, especially if these pets are in close proximity to their nicotine-addicted masters.
Dogs who live with owners that are regular cigarette smokers has twice the risk of developing lung cancer and also nasal or sinus cancers compared to their counterparts being kept in non-smoking households. Dogs are not alone in having the misfortune of acquiring tobacco use related cancers from their nicotine-addicted owners. Cats exposed to tobacco smoke had an increased risk of developing malignant lymphoma and oral cancers.
Experts say that to lessen the likelihood of your pets getting tobacco smoke related cancers, cigarette-smoking pet owners should smoke outdoors and away from their pets. Or open their windows to vent out their cigarette smoke outside. Or for the benefit of both the owner and his or her beloved pet, why not quit smoking altogether, both you and your pet could be enjoying a healthier life altogether. If you’re not quitting for yourself then do it for your beloved pet. It could well save you thousands on unnecessary veterinary bills, not to mention medical / hospitalization bills later on.