For smokers, 2016 brings new incentive to quit

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Happy New Year, everybody! I hope 2016 brings you much happiness, good health, prosperity and all the willpower you need to keep your New Year’s resolutions.

If you’re a smoker, and you’ve vowed that you’ll finally quit this year, I really hope you stick to your plan – no matter what. If you can’t do it for yourself, or your family do it for your pet. Yes, you heard me. Do it for your dog or cat, or any other companion animal that happens to share your life.

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According to published reports, a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Glasgow found that the poison in secondhand smoke can be just as lethal  – if not more so – to dogs and cats as it can to humans. Specifically, the study linked exposure to secondhand smoke with an increased risk for certain illnesses in dogs and cats.

I can imagine what all of you smokers think. I can just hear it now. Whining about how you are persecuted; how you can no longer smoke in bars, restaurants, or planes. How the “nanny state” is infringing on your freedom and that smoking is your personal choice. You probably don’t believe that secondhand smoke is harmful at all.

But I beg to differ. My father was a smoker. He smoked a pipe and cigars, believing that both were less harmful than cigarettes. As a little girl, I suffered from severe allergies, asthma and bronchitis. As a teen and young adult, exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke resulted in asthma attacks that literally brought me to my knees.

There was an upside to all that though. I was never tempted to smoke at all. I hope you can soon say the same.

For more information about secondhand smoke and pets, click here.