Secondhand Smoke Impact on Pets

September 11, 2020

Today, we all know secondhand smoke hurts nonsmokers. But did you know it’s also harmful for some of our best friends– our pets? With more than 7,000 chemicals1, secondhand smoke can be just as toxic for our furry friends as people. A home with secondhand smoke puts dogs, cats, and especially birds at risk of many health problems. Consider just the following:

  • Dogs exposed to secondhand smoke have more eye infections, allergies, and respiratory issues including lung cancer, as well as greater risk for nasal cancer.2
  • Cats that live with secondhand smoke are at increased risk of developing lung cancer and lymphoma. In fact, cats exposed to smoke are about three times more likely to develop lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes that has a poor prognosis for survival.3
  • Birds have sensitive respiratory systems, making them very likely to develop respiratory problems, such as pneumonia, as well as lung cancer, when exposed to secondhand smoke. They also have a higher risk of skin, heart and eye problems when housed in smoky environments.4

What’s more, pets are also at risk due to thirdhand smoke, which is the residue of toxic chemicals that tobacco smoke leaves on furniture, carpets and even on the walls and floors.5 Pets spend a lot of time on or near the floor, where thirdhand residue concentrates, and can be absorbed through their skin or inhaled as common household dust. If you and your pet are being exposed to secondhand smoke in your building, visit our make your home smokefree article to learn steps you can take.