For better or worse I recognize that people have a right to make whatever decisions they want that affect themselves and their health – smoking included. If a person wants to harm himself…have at it. However, I do not believe that they have a right to affect the well-being of others, especially the ones with no voice, such as children and pets. We see television commercials pretty frequently trying to persuade smokers to make kids a smoke-free zone, but what about your pets? They are equally susceptible to the dangers of secondhand smoke as humans. It makes me crazy when I see someone smoking while driving with the window barely cracked and a dog in the back seat. Those poor animals are forced to breath smoke filled air and suffer the consequences they are subjected to.
Argue all you’d like, but the effects of secondhand smoke are well researched and documented. According to an article I read from WebMD, “Tobacco smoke has more than 4,000 chemical compounds, at least 250 are known to cause disease. Secondhand smoke makes you more likely to get lung cancer and many other types of cancer. It’s also bad for your heart. Every year in the U.S., secondhand smoke causes about 34,000 deaths from heart disease and 7,300 deaths from lung cancer, the CDC says. Smoke makes your blood stickier, raises your “bad” LDL cholesterol, and damages the lining of your blood vessels. Eventually, these changes can make you more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.”
Every year exposure to secondhand smoke causes thousands of lung cancer and heart disease deaths among nonsmokers, according to the California Environmental Protection Agency. And it is linked to respiratory infections, chronic cough, ear infections and severe asthma attacks in children.
So is it really difficult to connect the effects secondhand smoke has on humans to pets? “There have been a number of scientific papers recently that have reported the significant health threat secondhand smoke poses to pets,” stated veterinarian Carolynn MacAllister. “Secondhand smoke has been associated with oral cancer and lymphoma in cats, lung and nasal cancer in dogs, as well as lung cancer in birds.”
Let’s protect our pets from secondhand smoke and give those precious members of the family the safe, healthy life they deserve.
Make Your Pet A Smoke-Free Zone!