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Veterinary Public Health


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Contact Information
Veterinary Public Health Program
313 N Figueroa St. Rm 1127
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel (213) 989-7060
Tel: (877) 747-2243
Fax (213) 481-2375
vet@ph.lacounty.gov
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The 2020 Healthy Pets, Healthy Families Initiative

Second-hand smoke (SHS)

  

Background:

 

There is a lot of evidence that secondhand smoke (SHS) can cause significant illness in people, such as pneumonia, heart disease, stroke and even some cancers. However, did you know that pets can also suffer from similar diseases if exposed to SHS? This fact is the reason why more and more people reconsider their smoking habits, especially around their dogs and cats1.

 

Facts about SHS in Los Angeles County (LAC):

 

  • Dogs and cats can suffer from the same diseases that people can get from SHS2

  • In addition, smoke residues stay on your pet's fur, which can be toxic to pets3

  • Cigarette butts left on the ground are poisonous to pets if eaten

    • Some people report that, while they are not allowed to smoke indoors, they often go outside and smoke while hanging out with their dog - this increases the chances of the dog breathing cigarette smoke or eating cigarette butts

    • Parks are another potential source of dog exposure to cigarette smoke or butts - "Non-smoking" signs are not always present and even if they are, cigarette butts can still be found on the ground4

What can people do to decrease SHS in LAC:

  • Avoid smoking around animals

  • If you see your pet smelling or licking something on the ground, make sure it is not a cigarette butt

 

What VPH and our partners do to decrease SHS in LAC:

 

The 2020 Healthy Pets Healthy Families (HPHF) Initiative continues to investigate smoking habits throughout parks of LAC. We are also working with other tobacco prevention organizations to let smokers know about the effects of SHS in pets.

More useful information about second-hand smoke and pets:

Stop Smoking - For Your Health and Your Pets' Health (American Veterinary Medical Association [AVMA])

Last updated: 10/28/2013

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