SMOKING pet owners have been warned they are giving their animals cancer as they passively smoke NINE fags a day.
A poll of 2,000 pet owners hooked on fags found that the average smoker puffs away on nine cigarettes at home while their pets are nearby.
A total of 22 per cent of those quizzed said they smoked 15 or more fags at home every day – meaning their pets are exposed to more than 5,400 cigarettes every year.
Research has shown that dogs living with smokers are 60 per cent more likely to get lung cancer and cats are twice as likely to develop malignant lymphoma.
One-in-five pet owners also confessed their pets had eaten cigarettes or tobacco in the past year.
Britain is home to around 9m dogs and 8m cats, with around 1m rabbits and 1.2m pet birds.
A total of 52 per cent of those polled said their pets spend 23 hours or more at home, where chemicals from cigs can linger in the air and cause a number of deadly health issues including cancer.
One-in-three pet owners said their pet moved away from them when they started smoking while 17 per cent said their pet sits beside them when they light up.
And 13 per cent of those polled said they reckoned their pets LIKED the smell of fags.
The study found that 78 per cent of those polled admitted they knew their pets could be affected by passive smoking, with 68 per cent saying they would consider quitting the habit if a vet told them the smoke was making their pet ill.
Michelle Tuftsmith, 52, of east London, who smokes 20 fags a day says she is planning on giving up for October.
She said she never smokes in the house and instead puffs away in her garden or on walks with her beloved bulldog, which are prone to develop respiratory problems.
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
Veterinary surgeon Dr Robert J White-Adams, said: “Research has shown cats that live with smokers are about twice as likely to develop a malignant lymphoma and dogs that live with smokers are 60 per cent more likely to develop lung cancer.
“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.”
DANGERS OF PASSIVE SMOKING FOR PETS
- Toxins in tobacco smoke can damage your pet’s cells. This makes them more at risk of cancer
- Smoke can cause breathing problems or make existing breathing problems worse
- Second hand smoke can cause a whole range of other problems too, from skin conditions to weight gain.
Andrew Moore, the boss of pet claims at More Than, said: “Passive smoking is just as dangerous for pets as it is for humans, and increases the likelihood of them developing cancer and a range of other health issues.
“We urge pet owners that smoke to avoid doing so around their pets or inside their home to reduce their exposure to second-hand smoke.
“Our pets dedicate their lives to us so it is important that we thank them by keeping them happy and healthy.”
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A spokesman for More Than said: “Pet owners who smoke are harming their animals by smoking an average of nine cigarettes in their home each day.
“That means individual pets could be exposed to an estimated 3,285 cigarettes each year.
“This is despite 78 per cent acknowledging that their habit could harm their pets.”
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