Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
Send news

News tags

mental health  physical activity  earthquake  vacancies  families  public health  children  funding  poverty  health determinants  social  Community development  planning  employment  healthy cities  volunteers  newsletter  youth  volunteering  nutrition  employment opportunity  housing  alcohol and drugs  maori  community engagement  rebuilding  wellbeing  disabilities  Lectures  counselling  Training  earthquake recovery  sustainability  event  community gardens  Community  seminar  Awards  stress  Community Groups  mens health  research  arts  smokefree  culture  men  exercise  migrants  community event  education  environment  resilience  human rights  health  medical  business  sport  conferences  survey  mental wellbeing  Courses  obesity  elderly  support group  environmental health  healthy food  health promotion  violence  pacific health  resources  rebuild  women  race relations  meeting  gardens  workshop  services  leadership  forum  water  disabled  repair  transport  prevention  pacific  dance  fundraising  asian health  sexual health  inequality  cancer  support  disasters  development  mindfulness  dementia  presentation  collaboration  health in all policies  data analysis  recovery  smoking  law  drugs and alcohol  technology  safety  cycling  Sleep  policy  parenting  media  hearing  walking  land  neighbours  social justice  qualification  resilient cities  information  community connection  consultation  oral health  bullying  depression  youth empowerment  young people  activities  non-profit  charity  harm  NURSES  addiction  disease  Communication  alcohol  symposium  submission  anxiety  accessibility  Relationships  eating  economics  Advocacy  eLearning  falls  parking  energy  efficiency  heating  insulation  advice  Eating Disorders  abuse  waste  Matariki  webinar  diabetes  workplace  Film  Climate Change  solutions  urban  management  economy  plan  restoration  Report  Vulnerability  welfare  parks  learning  awareness  emergencies  legislation  injury prevention  reading  Meeting Room  conservation  language  refugees  recreation  built environment  data  venue  urban design  Food  older people  finances  suicide  heritage  gender  recycling  breastfeeding  public  identity  Nursing  submissions  Rainbow  biodiversity  campaign  promotion  Gut Health  diversity  therapy  older adults  sexuality  computing  pollution  School Holidays  Arts Therapy  providers  gambling  Maori health  Cervical cancer  screening  trauma  autism  Governance  treaty of waitangi  care  mentoring  pets  relaxation  Professional Development  pornography  exhibition  history  discrimination  vaping  equity  lockdown  grief  rural  hygiene  participation  tourism  summer  intervention  warning  podcast  science  petition  swimming  roadworks  traffic  wildlife  beaches  pools  immunisation  vaccination  brain  preparation  open day  market  evaluation 

Quit smoking and vaping around your pets

Wednesday, June 2, 2021   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: pets, smokefree, vaping, awareness

SPCA media release: 31st May 2021

SPCA is urging people not to smoke or vape near their pets, as research shows second-hand smoke and nicotine from e-cigarettes can have serious health effects on animals - just like humans.

New Zealand’s largest animal welfare charity is warning pet owners on World Smokefree Day to consider the potential long-term damage they could be causing their furry friends by smoking or vaping near them.

SPCA Scientific Officer Alison Vaughan says while there’s plenty of awareness around the harm tobacco smoke causes humans, people may not be aware that animals exposed to these substances can suffer similar health risks as well, including cancers and respiratory infections.

“Most owners would never intentionally hurt their animals, but it’s important to realise the harm you could be causing by smoking or vaping around your pets,” says Dr Vaughan. “Exposure to second-hand smoke has been linked with cancer in dogs and cats, as well as skin, eye and respiratory diseases in birds, rabbits and guinea pigs. It can also affect fish, as the pollutants from smoke are dissolved easily into their water.”

Research also shows that third-hand smoke, the residual nicotine and other chemicals left on clothes and surfaces in our homes and cars from tobacco smoke, poses particular risk to animals. Because our pets spend a lot of time on or near the floor, they are exposed to higher concentrations of these residues which can be inhaled or ingested during grooming.

The increase in the popularity of vaping has also introduced new risks that pet owners may not be aware of. The liquid nicotine used in vaping devices is absorbed faster, and the nicotine concentration may be higher than traditional cigarettes. Many of these products use flavoured nicotine which can make them more appealing, particularly to dogs. Ingestion of even small amounts of nicotine can result in nicotine poisoning.

“If you do vape, make sure you keep the device and liquid nicotine in a safe place, out of reach of your pet. Keep both your home and car smoke free to reduce the risk of cancers and serious health problems for your family and pets,” says Dr Vaughan.

Last year, a bill banning smoking in cars with children passed its final reading with support from all parties. SPCA warns that smoking in cars with pets poses similar risks to their health and wellbeing, and urges pet owners to keep their cars smoke free.

“Smoke can accumulate in vehicles, even with the windows down. The law recognises the health risks second-hand smoke in cars can cause children and research shows animals can suffer the same effects. When inside a vehicle, animals don’t have the option to move away from second-hand smoke, so it is important to keep our cars smoke free” says Dr Vaughan.

Effects of second-hand smoke on cats

Cats are known for their careful grooming, but when cats lick themselves they can ingest dangerous carcinogens from smoke that are absorbed by their fur. Cats in households with second-hand smoke exposure are almost 2.5 times more likely to develop malignant lymphoma as cats with no exposure. The risk increases to 3.2 times more likely in cats exposed for five or more years.

Effects of second-hand smoke on dogs

Dogs exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to suffer from a range of diseases, including nasal cancer, lung cancer, asthma and bronchitis, than non-exposed dogs. The shape of a dog’s head plays a role in the types of cancer most likely to develop. Long-muzzled dogs, such as collies, are 250 per cent more likely to develop nasal cancer, since their nasal passages have more surface area on which the toxins can accumulate. Breeds with short muzzles are more likely to develop lung cancer and other respiratory diseases.