Reminder - increased risk to animals' health when living with a smoker..

February 22, 2011 - Veterinary Alex Gough this week told the ­Veterinary Times that passive ­smoking is not just a problem for humans. He wrote: “Current evidence ­suggests that there is a significant increased risk to our animals’ health involved with living with a smoker.” (Pets - Pets can be harmed by second-hand smoke and/or ingestion of tobacco products..; Pets can be harmed by second-hand smoke and/or ingestion of tobacco products...)

His review of research showed that passive smoking (environmental tobacco smoke, ets, involuntary smoking, sidestream smoke) can give pets diseases from bronchitis to cancer. For cats illnesses linked to environmental tobacco smoke include asthma and cancer of the lymph nodes and mouth. Dogs living with smokers have a “significantly higher” risk of ­bronchitis and are more vulnerable to nasal cancer, especially long-nosed breeds such as greyhounds and lurchers.

Mr Gough, from Bath, says some critics want smokers to be banned from keeping pets even though we don’t have laws to protect children from passive smoking. And ­depriving smokers of Tibbles or Fido seems a bit extreme.

Mr Gough says ideally pet ­owners should not smoke, based on the evidence. “If this information encourages owners to quit,” he says, “we may find ourselves saving human lives into the bargain.”

Reference: PASSIVE SMOKING FOR PETS by John Ingham, Scottish Daily Express, 2/18/2011.