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Pet Lover's Warning: Smoking Is Dangerous To Your Pet's Health

We all know how smoking kills people. Atherosclerosis, vascular disease, hypertension, tongue cancer, stroke, impotence - these are just some of the various ways cigarettes can shorten your lifespan. Problem is, all smokers are aware of these risks; yet these debilitating, even murderous, diseases are not enough to make them kick the habit. Why, you ask?

God only knows.

This is one of life's mysteries; you know it will kill you but you still do it. Smokers know that cigarettes will eventually kill them yet they still do it. They even consider it as one of the pleasures of life. Most smokers, unfortunately, are actually dependent on cigarettes. They want to quit but very few muster up the will to actually do so. If you have a pet at home and are one of these I-wanna-quit-but-I-can't smokers, maybe the next few words can encourage you.

Every pack of cigarettes you buy warns you of its adverse effects on your health but it doesn't warn you of its ill effects on your pet. Your pet may actually have it worse than you. Its exposure to second-hand smoke is actually something to be more concerned about than your own nicotine contaminated well-being. Veterinarians have always suspected that pets of smokers have higher chances of developing cancers and other respiratory illnesses. No one really paid attention before; now the evidence is overwhelming.

In cats, lymphosarcoma is the most common of cancers. Studies say that cats who live with a smoker are twice as likely to develop it. The chances of developing this disease is also directly proportional to the number of years a cat has lived with a smoker - and the number of smokers in the household haven't even been included in that equation! Of course, this is just one of the many diseases our feline friends can get from their owner's bad habit. There is also a higher incidence of the oral tumor, squamous cell carcinoma, in cats who live with a smoker. On average, only 10 percent of cats diagnosed with cancer will will live through a year of it.

Dogs don't fare any better, unfortunately. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology indicates that dogs who live with a smoker are likely to develop lung cancer. Long-nosed breeds such as Collies are also at a higher risk for nasal tumors. This is because long-nosed dogs more efficiently filter out the air they breathe, therefore filtering out airborne carcinogens and depositing them in the nasal cavity.

Hey, it's my life!

If you find yourself thinking this way, think again. Our pets do not have much choice when it comes to their living conditions; we do. In the end, it really is your choice. Be responsible - either for your pet's good health or for its untimely death.