Another reason to quit smoking: Your pet’s health

man reading with his dog Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death, disease and disability in the U.S. But did you know that being exposed to secondhand smoke and thirdhand smoke—the toxic residue left behind on clothing, carpeting and upholstered furniture—can be harmful to both people and pets?

Not only do pets breathe in secondhand smoke, they also spend much of their time on the floor or furniture. As a result, they can ingest harmful substances by grooming themselves or licking their owner’s skin or clothing. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), pets of smokers are at risk for serious illnesses. Consider:

  • Dogs with long noses, such as borzois, Doberman pinschers and greyhounds, are at a high risk for nose cancer. Dogs with short or medium-sized noses, such as beagles, Brittany spaniels, bulldogs and pugs, are at an increased risk for lung cancer.
  • Cats are at risk for mouth and tongue cancers, as well as lymphoma, an immune system cancer.
  • Birds are at risk of death from illnesses such as pneumonia, heart disease and lung cancer.
  • Guinea pigs are prone to lung disease and failure to gain weight.
  • Fish can get nicotine poisoning, which causes muscle spasms, rigid fins and even death.

Speak to your health care provider if you or a loved one needs help kicking the habit. Free one-on-one counseling is available through our tobacco cessation program!

Other helpful smoking cessation resources include: