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Can Smoking Kill Cats? Yes, According to #CATmageddon PSA

Image: Can Smoking Kill Cats? Yes, According to #CATmageddon PSA
(YouTube)

By    |   Friday, 19 Feb 2016 01:48 PM

Can smoking kill cats?

An unusual public service announcement from Truth Initiative and Petco that tackles smoking and its effect on cats generated plenty of social media buzz when it aired after the Grammy Awards on Monday with the hashtag #CATmaggedon.

The video shows excerpts of cat videos, warning that "Smoking = No Cats = No Cat Videos." The video on YouTube has been viewed more than 2.2 million times since being posted on Feb. 10.

"The Internet is fueled by cat videos. And because cigarettes can kill cats, too, we're freaking out," Truth Initiative stated on its website. "And you should, too. Cats are twice as likely to get cancer if their owner smokes. Twice as likely."

Jan Bellows, a veterinarian at the All Pets Dental Clinic, in Weston, Florida, posted on Petfinder.com that secondhand smoke can indeed harm cats and dogs.

"Dog and cat lungs are virtually identical to human lungs," Bellows said.

Cats are vulnerable to developing cancer in the mouth and lymph nodes because of secondhand smoke, according to the website, which said cats are also more likely to lick up toxic substances on their fur while grooming.

Veterinarian Whitney Miller wrote on Petco's website that smoking pet owners should wash or change their pet's bedding regularly, establish regular wellness checkups, groom and bathe their pet routinely, and securely depose of cigarette butts. Miller said the best way to protect pets from secondhand smoke is to stop smoking altogether.

Sherry Emery, the director of the University of Illinois, Chicago's Health Media Collaboratory, told National Public Radio that PSAs targeting animals of smokers open up a new front against the industry.

"It's nothing like any anti-smoking ad that's been out," she said. "This is the first time I think [anti-smoking campaigns] have gone after the health effects for animals. And people care so much about their animals."

The Truth Initiative, formerly known as the American Legacy Foundation, is an anti-smoking organization targeting youth, which was created as part of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between the major U.S. tobacco companies and 46 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories, according to its website.

The anti-smoking cat video has continued to resonate on social media.








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Can smoking kill cats? An unusual public service announcement from Truth Initiative and Petco that tackles smoking and its effect on cats generated plenty of social media buzz when it aired after the Grammy Awards on Monday with the hashtag #CATmaggedon.
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Friday, 19 Feb 2016 01:48 PM
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