It’s widely known that smoking cigarettes can lead to heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer among other health problems in humans. However, being around cigarette smoke takes a huge toll on animals, too. More than 2,000 pet owners who smoke recently participated in a poll that revealed the average smoker consumes nine cigarettes per day.
At that rate, the study reveals pets could be exposed to up to almost 3,300 cigarettes a year. The number increases if there is more than one smoker living in the residence.
The new study also revealed that 78 percent of smokers with pets know that their pets could be affected by second-hand smoke but 68 percent may quit if a veterinarian told them it was making their animal sick.
One in five pet owners in the study shared information that their pets actually ate cigarettes or tobacco over the last year. Additionally, the animals in question spent at least 23 hours or more in their homes, so lingering chemicals and bacteria could affect them.
“It’s heartbreaking to hear pets are inhaling second-hand smoke and other chemicals for up to 23 hours from over three thousand cigarettes each year,” veterinary surgeon Dr. Robert J White-Adams shared.
Dr. Adams reports that cats living with smokers are twice as likely to develop a malignant melanoma while dogs living with smokers are at a 60 percent risk of developing lung cancer.
The company responsible for the poll/study, MORE TH>N, is calling on pet parents to stop smoking.