Research has long proven that smoking is detrimental to an individual’s health and well-being. Smoking can lead to cancer of the nose, mouth, larynx, trachea, esophagus, throat, lungs, liver, stomach, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, cervix, bone marrow, blood, colon and rectum. Smoking can also potentially lead to Crohn’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Type 2 Diabetes, plaque buildup in the arteries, aneurysms, coronary heart disease, heart attack, peripheral arterial disease, stroke, increased blood pressure, changes in blood chemistry, thickened blood vessels, macular degeneration, optic nerve damage, blindness, osteoporosis, bone loss, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, tuberculosis, preterm birth, stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy, erectile dysfunction, orofacial clefts and more. Unfortunately, because the carcinogens released through smoking also work their way into the air, the smoker himself is not the only individual who is adversely affected by this drug substance. Second-hand smoke can also be incredibly dangerous, even for animals.
Second-Hand Smoke and Pets
Pets are entirely dependent upon their owners for their every need. Not only does this mean that they eat, exercise and play when and how their owner dictates, it also means that they are exposed to whatever is in their environment, like cigarette smoke. A pet who is living in a home with a smoker cannot usually move away from this environment, and is therefore subject to the many effects of inhaling carcinogens on a regular basis. This can result in asthma, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and other health problems for the pet, which can lead to heartache for their owners.
Interestingly enough, smokers who may not otherwise have a pressing reason for abstaining from cigarette use may yet determine to give up this habit when they discover that it is harming, and perhaps even killing, their beloved furry companion. A recent study into the issue, where twenty-one percent of the respondents were smokers and twenty-seven percent of the respondents lived with a smoker, found that the information that second-hand smoke could harm or kill household pets was sufficient to prompt an interest in change. More than twenty-eight percent of pet owners who were smokers admitted that they were interested in trying to quit if it would help to protect their health of household pets. Moreover, nearly nine percent of pet owners who were smokers admitted that they would ask others in the household to quit smoking, and more than fourteen percent of pet owners who were smokers admitted that they would ask others in the household to smoke outside. Among those individuals who were not themselves smokers, nearly sixteen and a half percent admitted they would ask smokers they live with to quit, and more than twenty-four percent admitted they would ask smokers they live with to smoke outside.
The Price of Smoking
Most smokers, even those who have no interest in quitting the habit, will readily admit that this is an expensive habit to maintain. However, while they may be willing to deal with the financial costs associated with smoking, few may be willing to deal with the cost of injuring their beloved pet. Where the individual who is completely addicted to cigarette smoking and can find no other impetus for abstaining from cigarette smoking, this can be the reason that drives them to make the lifestyle changes that benefit their health and well-being. Studies have indicated that pet ownership has many wonderful health benefits in general, and this is just one more benefit that proves that caring for another living thing can do wonders for an individual’s own survival.