Show you love your pet and stub out passive smoking

Published Friday, 19th February 2016
Cigarette in ash tray
Cigarette in ash tray

Animal lovers are urged to be aware of the passive smoking risk to pets on Love Your Pet Day.

Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster councils are joining forces on Love Your Pet Day, Saturday 20 February, to persuade pet owners not to smoke near their pets. The three councils, who have come together to form the South Yorkshire Tobacco Control Collaborative, are urging smokers to keep their homes smokefree to help keep their pets fit and well.

According to recent research, pets are at even greater risk from their owners smoking around them than humans because they spend more time in the home and they are usually closer to carpets, where cancer-causing particles can linger. The research shows that animals exposed to second-hand smoke go on to develop a host of health problems including cancer, cell damage and weight gain.

The study found cats are particularly at risk from second-hand smoke, potentially due to extensive self-grooming but all pets can be affected.

Rotherham’s Advisory Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, Cllr David Roche, said: "Love Your Pet Day is the perfect time to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking near pets. Many of us are already aware of the risks of second-hand smoke when it comes to our family, friends, babies and young children, but are often surprised that family pets can be harmed by this too.

"In Rotherham, 18.4 percent of the adult population smoke. Reducing the amount of smoke your pet is exposed to by smoking outdoors can help, however stopping smoking completely is the best option for to keep your family and your pets fit and well. There is plenty of free help and support available locally for smokers who want to quit."

Phil Tricklebank, Veterinary Surgeon at Hallam Veterinary Centre in Sheffield, welcomed the campaign. He said: "I have seen many cases of chronic bronchitis in dogs and feline asthma in cats, which can often be aggravated by exposure to second-hand smoke. I would urge all animal lovers not to smoke around their pets."

As part of a wider campaign to combat the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, members of the public are being urged to sign a pledge to make their homes and cars smokefree.

To find out more about the local help and support available, contact your local stop smoking service.

Find your local stop smoking serviceimage

Sign the smokefree pledgeimage