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Cigarettes or Your Pet

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Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

(WFLX) - We all know secondhand smoke is bad for people, but have you ever thought what it can do to your pets?

So should you quit for your furry friends?

Beth Labauve has always had dogs, but when her 8-year-old dog Otto died from cancer, she wondered if her smoking habit could have caused it. "I smoked a pack a day for about 6 or 7 years. I knew it wasn't good for the pets, so I didn't smoke in the house, but I did smoke in my car. I tell myself it wasn't a cause of it, but from what I've read, it can lead to cancer in dogs."

She's right. Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Rudolph says smoking can affect your pets much in the same way as it affects you. "The smoke settles on their fur and the animal is going and ingesting those toxins. We can see an increased incidence of bronchitis, asthma, allergic rhinitis."

So how can you quit for fido?

Start by seeing your doctor and decide which quit method is right for you. Pills, patches and gum can all help, but they work differently for each person. And, finally, don't do it alone.

Study after study shows support is the best way to kick the habit.

If you want to quit for you pet, there is plenty of support Web sites out there. Here's one we recommend: http://www.smokefree.gov/.

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