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Want to kick the butt? Buy a pooch

health-and-fitness Updated: Feb 10, 2009 17:12 IST

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Want your partner to kick the butt? Well, then buy him a pooch, for a new study has found that smokers are more likely to quit cigarettes for the sake of their pet’s health rather than their own.

Studies have shown that second hand tobacco smoke can be as dangerous for pets as it is for the non-smoking partners of smokers.

Exposure to passive smoking has been associated with lymph gland, nasal, and lung cancers; allergies; eye and skin diseases; as well as respiratory problems in cats and dogs.

For the study, the researchers set up an online survey for pet owners resident in south eastern Michigan, quizzing them about their and their partner's smoking behaviours, and what they knew about the effects of second hand smoke on their pets.

The findings revealed that nearly one in three of the smokers i.e. 28.4 pct said that knowing that smoking was bad for their pet's health would spur them to give it up.

Almost one in 10 said this would prompt team to ask their partners to quit, while around one in seven said they would tell their partner to smoke outdoors.

These figures were even higher among non-smokers, more than 16pct of whom said they would ask their partner to quit, while around 24 pct said they would tell their partner to smoke outdoors.

According to the authors, public health campaigns targeting smokers would do well to focus on the detrimental impact of second hand tobacco smoke on pets.

The research is published in Tobacco Control.