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Smokers Will Stop for Their Pet's Sake
Date:2/9/2009

er cited studies showing an association between secondhand smoke and an increased risk of certain kinds of cancer in pets. One study found an increase of squamous cell carcinoma, a cancer of the mouth in cats, presumably related to the cancer-causing smoke-related molecules they lick up while grooming themselves. Another study found an increased incidence of nasal tumors among dogs living with smokers.

Milberger said her group has started an effort to see whether the pet effect can influence people to give up smoking.

"We are testing such an intervention," she said. "We want to see if adding information on the effects of secondhand smoke on pets can change human behavior."

Results of that intervention "should be available in six months to a year." Milberger said.

More information

Complete information on why smoking is bad for you and your pet is available from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.



SOURCES: Sharon Milberger, Ph.D., epidemiologist, Henry Ford Health System Center, Detroit; Carolynn MacAllister, DVM, Oklahoma State Cooperative Extension Service, Stillwater, Okla.; February 2009, Tobacco Control, online


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