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Effects Of Second-hand smoke On Pets


Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS), more commonly known as secondhand smoke, contains over 4,000 chemicals – 69 of which can cause cancer. ETS is definitely harmful to humans, but it can also be very hurtful to animals.  So if you need even more incentive to quit smoking than your own physical health and the physical health of the people around you, read below to learn about the effects that ETS can have on your pets. 

1.      ETS has been linked to nasal and sinus cancer in dogs. Short-nose breeds tend to have more lung cancer and long-nose breeds tend to have more nasal cancer. 

2.      Measurable levels of carcinogens can be found in dog’s hair and urine for months after exposure. 

3.      A dog exposed to ETS is three times more likely to get cancer. 

4.      ETS can cause allergic reactions in dogs that can result in scratching, biting, and chewing their skin. 

5.      ETS exposure in cats causes two times the risk of feline Lymphoma, a deadly form of cancer. 

6.      A cat’s chance of developing oral cancer is increased by ETS because the carcinogens settle on their fur and are ingested during grooming. 

7.      ETS can cause respiratory problems, lung inflammation, and asthma in cats. 

8.      Eye problems and respiratory problems, such as coughing and wheezing, can occur in birds due to ETS. 

9.      Contact with nicotine on a smoker’s hand can cause dermatitis which can cause birds to pull their feathers out. 

10.  ETS increases blood pressure in rabbits. 

11.  ETS can have other effects on a variety of animals, such as cardiac abnormalities, respiratory problems, diarrhea and vomiting. 

12.  Nicotine can be toxic to animals – cigarette or cigar butts, as well as Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) items, can cause death when ingested. 


If you are looking to stop smoking – for your own health, the health of the people around you, and the health of the animals around you – consider contacting some of the following resources for some support and guidance:

If you live in New Jersey, you can contact Quitline at 1-866-NJ-STOPS and Quitnet.

Outside of New Jersey you can contact the following nationwide hotlines:

·         American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345

·         National Cancer Institute at 1-800-422-6237

Other statewide hotlines include:

·         Arizona Smoker's Helpline, 1-800-556-6222 

·         California Smoker's Helpline, 1-800-NO-BUTTS 

·         Illinois Tobacco Helpline , 1-800-548-8252 

·         Iowa Quitline , 1-866-U-CAN-TRY 

·         Massachusetts Smoker's Quitline, (English) 1-800-879-8678, (Spanish/Portuguese) 1-800-833-5256

·         Michigan Quit Smoking Coaching Hotline , Free counseling for Michigan residents 1-800-480-7848, Free printed materials, coupons, quit kits 1-800-537-5666

·         Minnesota Helpline, (English) 1-877-270-7867, (Spanish) 1-877-266-3863

·         Mississippi Tobacco Quitline, 1-877-4US-2-ACT (1-877-487-2228) 

·         Montana Tobacco Quit Line, 1-877-612-1585 

·         Nevada Tobacco Users Helpline, 1-888-866-6642 or 702 877-0684 

·         New York Quitline, 1-888-609-6292 

·         Oregon Tobacco Quit Line, English 1-877-270-7867, Spanish 1-877-266-3863 

·         Texas Quitline, 1-877-937-7848 

·         Utah Quitline, 1-888-567-8788 

·         Vermont Smokers Quitline, 1-877-YES-QUIT

·         Washington State Quit Line, English 1-877-270-STOP, Spanish 1-877-2NO-FUME 

·         West Virgina (only for those in WV with Medicaid or Public Employess Insurance Agency insurance), 1-877-966-8784

·         Wisconsin Tobacco Quitline, English 1-877-270-STOP, Spanish 1-877-2NO-FUME