Pets With Owners Who Smoke Could Be Passively Smoking Thousands Of Cigarettes A Year


Ben Taub


Ben Taub

Freelance Writer

Benjamin holds a Master's degree in anthropology from University College London and has worked in the fields of neuroscience research and mental health treatment.

Freelance Writer

Second-hand smoke can be extremely dangerous for pets. Image: Mia Patrucchi/Shutterstock

Dogs and cats who live with a human smoker could be in danger of developing lung cancer and other diseases due to the excessive amounts of second-hand smoke they are forced to inhale. According to a new survey by insurance company MORE TH>N, the average nicotine-addicted pet owner smokes nine cigarettes a day at home while their four-legged companions are nearby, exposing the animals to 3,285 cigarettes a year, Metro reports.

The survey included 2,000 pet owners who smoke, 22 percent of whom said they smoked well above the average, clouding their furry friends in the smoke of 15 cigarettes a day, which adds up to nearly 5,500 a year.

While more than three-quarters of respondents admitted that they continued to smoke despite being well aware of the dangers this posed for their pets, 68 percent said they would consider quitting if a vet told them that their habit was making their dog or cat ill.

The risk of this occurring is actually pretty high according to a 2015 study, which found that passive smoke is more dangerous for pets than it is for humans, as animals tend to spend more time in the home and in contact with carpets, where carcinogenic particles may accumulate. It may, therefore, come as little surprise to hear that research conducted in the early 90s revealed that dogs whose owners smoke are 60 percent more likely to develop lung cancer than pooches from tobacco-free households.

Interestingly, a follow-up study found that this increased risk for lung cancer only applied to short-muzzled breeds like pugs, while dogs with longer snouts were more likely to develop nasal cancer, possibly due to carcinogens in cigarette smoke becoming trapped in their elongated nasal passages.

Regardless of the size of your pet’s nose, though, the long and short of it is that passive smoke is a significant hazard for any animal living in your home.


  • tag
  • cancer,

  • dog,

  • tobacco,

  • nicotine,

  • PET,

  • cat,

  • cigarette,

  • second-hand smoke,

  • passive smoking