Benefit Seen from Pet-Focused Smoking Education

-- Lisa Cockrell, PhD

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Pet owners who smoke may benefit from educational campaigns informing them of the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure to their pets, according to a report published online Feb. 10 in Tobacco Control.

S.M. Milberger, of the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, and colleagues used a Web-based survey to evaluate the attitudes and behavior of pet owners who smoke. A total of 3,293 adult pet owners participated in the survey between March and September of 2007.

Of the total respondents, 21 percent smoked currently and 27 percent resided with at least one smoker, the report indicates. When asked for their reaction if told that secondhand smoke could harm their pet, 28.4 percent of smokers stated that they would try to quit smoking and 11.3 percent would think about quitting smoking, the investigators found. Nearly one-quarter (24.2 percent) of non-smoking participants who lived with a smoker responded that they would ask people in the home to stop smoking indoors. Smokers (40 percent) as well as non-smokers who lived with a smoker (24 percent) stated they would be interested in receiving information on smoking, quitting and secondhand smoke, the authors note.

"Given that 63 percent of U.S. households (71.1 million homes) have a pet in the home, and that about a fifth of pet owners are current cigarette smokers (according to our study), our findings are relevant to millions of households in the United States," Milberger and colleagues write.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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