Study Finds Pet Owners Who Smoke Will Try to Quit for Animals’ Health

About 28 percent of pet owners who smoke would try to quit if they knew that secondhand smoke endangered their pets, according to recent research.

“”Pet owners’ attitudes and behaviours related to smoking and second-hand smoke: a pilot study”” appeared in the April issue of the journal Tobacco Control. Among the authors is the late Ronald M. Davis, MD, who championed the One Health Initiative when he was president of the American Medical Association.

The researchers, from Henry Ford Health System’s Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Detroit, conducted a Web survey of 3,293 adult pet owners. About 21 percent were current smokers, and 27 percent lived with at least one smoker.

Some of the smoking pet owners reported that information on the dangers of secondhand smoke to pets would motivate them not only to try to quit but also to ask smokers with whom they live to quit (8.7 percent) or not to smoke indoors (14.2 percent). Nonsmoking pet owners who live with smokers said the information would motivate them to ask smokers with whom they live to quit (16.4 percent) or not smoke indoors (24.2 percent). About 40 percent of smokers and 24 percent of nonsmokers living with smokers indicated an interest in receiving information on smoking, quitting, or secondhand smoke.

The authors concluded that educational campaigns informing pet owners of the dangers of secondhand-smoke exposure to pets could motivate some owners to quit smoking. Educational campaigns also could motivate these pet owners and nonsmoking pet owners who live with smokers to make their homes smoke free.


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