Pets living in smoking households passively smoke more than 3,000 cigarettes a year, a new study has claimed.When 2,000 pet owners who smoke took a MORE TH>N pet insurance poll, it was found that the average smoker has nine cigarettes a day at home while their pets are nearby.
This means that pets could be exposed to up to 3,285 cigarettes a year, however, this number could increase if more than one person in the house smokes.
Past research has claimed that dogs who live with smokers are 60% more likely to get lung cancer and cats are twice as likely to develop malignant lymphoma.
The new study discovered that 22% of those questioned smoked 15 or more cigarettes at home a day, meaning their pets could be exposed to 5,475 cigarettes every year.
It also found that 78% of smokers with pets admitted they knew their pets could be affected by passive smoking, but 68% claimed they would consider quitting the habit if a vet told them the smoke was making their animal sick.
Michelle Tuftsmith, 52, from east London, smokes 20 a day, but claims she is giving up for October as she doesn’t want her dog Blanche to develop breathing problems.
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She says she always smokes in her garden or on walks with her two-year-old bulldog, a breed which is prone to developing respiratory problems.
One in five pet owners involved in the study confessed that their pets had eaten cigarettes or tobacco in the last year.
Furthermore, 52% of those polled said their pets spent 23 hours or more at home, meaning they could be exposed to lingering chemicals and bacteria in the air.
Veterinary Surgeon Dr Robert J White-Adams, said this week: ‘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.’
Andrew Moore, the boss of pet claims at MORE TH>N, said: ‘This Stoptober, MORE TH>N is calling on pet owners to give up smoking.
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‘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.’