According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), secondhand smoke is not only harmful to monkeys, but also to household pets like dogs, cats, birds, fish and even pigs that are subjected to its exposure.
The FDA reported in a consumer update that although many people, both smokers and non-smokers alike, are probably well aware of the dangers smoking poses to one’s health, that not many consider the potential risk to their pets. The FDA has long provided warnings about the impact of secondhand smoke. The agency is now concerned with the negative impact of thirdhand smoke, which consists of the residue that stains clothes, furniture, carpets and even walls.
“Smoking’s not only harmful to people, it’s harmful to pets too,” reports FDA veterinarian Carmela Stamper. According to Stamper, approximately 58 million non-smokers are consistently exposed to secondhand or thirdhand smoke. The number of pets exposed is far greater.
“Like children, dogs and cats spend a lot of time on or near the floor, where tobacco smoke residue concentrates in house dust, carpets and rugs,” Stamper added. “Then, it gets on their fur. Dogs, cats and children not only breathe these harmful substances in, but pets can also ingest them by licking their owner’s hair, skin and clothes.”
This article was adapted from a story featured in The Hill titled “FDA: Smoking exposure kills dogs, cats.”