The harmful effects of cigarette smoking are well-documented. There is so much literature regarding this that every person is aware of the health issues it causes. Despite this, many people continue to smoke without any worry.
Pet owners who smoke are in for a surprise. Even though a pet owner loves their pet, their actions may be harming them. Smoking around pets is harmful to their health.
A cigarette contains more than 7000 chemicals, almost all of them are harmful. A person who smokes exposes themselves to chemicals, such as nicotine, lead, arsenic, carbon monoxide, etc. All of these chemical compounds are harmful. However, people around the smoker are also exposed to such chemicals, although they may not be smoking a cigarette themselves.
Passive smoking, also known as secondhand smoking, isn’t only harmful to people, but it is also dangerous for animals. Pets, such as cats, dogs, and birds, are put at risk. According to VCA, it can lead to several health problems, including allergies, respiratory diseases, and eye infections.
Since pets remain closer to the ground, they are at a higher risk of exposure to cigarette residue, according to an article by the College of Nursing.
Dogs, in particular, are more susceptible to secondhand smoking. Dogs living in a smoking household are more likely to have difficulty in breathing. In addition to this, long-nosed dogs are at a higher risk of nasal cancer. Likewise, short-nosed dogs are at a higher risk of lung cancer.
Apart from dogs, cats are also at risk. Secondhand smoking puts their immune system in danger. They are more likely to develop lymphoma and oral cancer. Since cats are particular about their grooming, they ingest smoke residue that collects on their fur.
Many pet owners are not aware of the harmful effects of cigarette smoking. Hence, they continue to smoke without any care.
What should you do?
As a pet owner, you are responsible for your pet’s health, ensuring a proper diet and exercise for them. If you are a smoker and have pets, it is time that you should change this unhealthy habit. Not only is it for your benefit, but also your pet’s. Moreover, if you have kids in the house, it is high time that you switch to alternatives or quit cigarette smoking altogether.
E-cigarettes and vaping
An alternative to your smoking habit is vaping. Public Health England and a dozen other UK non-profit organizations approve vaping as a healthy alternative to cigarette smoking. Public Health England believes that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco, reports an article by the Guardian. While many believe that vaping is not harmful as smoking tobacco, much research needs to be done.
Many people find it hard to quit smoking because of nicotine, an addictive chemical compound. Instead of inhaling nicotine through cigarettes, many people switch to nicotine patches. A nicotine patch delivers nicotine into your bloodstream directly.
It can also help you to quit nicotine dependence. Over time the strength and concentration of nicotine are reduced. Nicotine patches come in various strengths. These include 21mg, 14mg, and 7mg. Hence, with the help of a nicotine patch, you may be able to quit smoking for good.
People who quit smoking face nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Hence, chewing gum serves as an alternative. It reduces nicotine cravings and may help with withdrawal symptoms.
If you care enough about your pets, you should try to quit smoking through these methods. Understandably, quitting smoking is difficult. You should find help from your community. Many organizations in the UK, such as ASH (Action on Smoking and Health), are creating awareness and offering support to smokers.