GLASGOW, SCOTLAND (CBS) — For those looking for another reason to quit smoking, a new study says smokers should consider their pets’ health before lighting up.
Researchers at the University of Glascow say they’ve found a direct link between a pet’s exposure to smoke and a greater risk of developing some alarming health problems.
“Our findings show that exposure to smoke in the home is having a direct impact on pets,” Clare Knottenbelt, a professor of small animal medicine and oncology, said in a statement. “It risks ongoing cell damage, increasing weight gain after castration and has previously been shown to increase the risk of certain cancers.”
Knottenbelt said they’ve already proven that dogs can take in a lot of cigarette smoke and cats are even more susceptible because they are often cleaning themselves.
It didn’t make much of a difference if cats were allowed outside, but the study said owners can cut down how much smoke their pet takes in by smoking away from animals.
“Pet owners often do not think about the impact that smoking could have on their pets,” Knottenbelt said. “Whilst you can reduce the amount of smoke your pet is exposed to by smoking outdoors and by reducing the number of tobacco products smoked by the members of the household, stopping smoking completely is the best option for your pet’s future health and wellbeing.”