How Safe Are My Pets Around E-Cigarettes?
A Look At Vaping and Pets
Every Vaper who is also a pet owner has asked themselves, at one time or another, is my vaping harming my pets? For smokers of tobacco products, the ill-effects of tobacco smoke and pets is a known quantity. No good can come from smoking around pets. However, the issue of vaping and pets is quite different. Amber Whaley investigates…
Pet owners love their pets; whether dogs, cats or other furry or feathered companions, keeping your pets safe and healthy is always a primary concern for any responsible pet owner.
Unfortunately for those that have a nicotine addiction, the danger to your favorite pet(s) could be all too real. Several reports and studies continue to contribute to the theory that dogs, cats and other household animals can experience health related effects as a result of secondhand smoke from traditional cigarettes. According to veterinarian, Dr. Jane Bellows, human lungs when compared with dog and cat lungs are “virtually identical,” meaning your pet is in danger just as much, if not more, as another human might be.
Dogs and cats are not only at risk for lung related diseases, but they can also develop tumors in their nasal cavities as a result of secondary exposure to cigarette smoke. For household birds there is an even more dangerous prognosis as they are incredible susceptible to any form of air pollutants. Long term exposure can result in eye irritation, fertility problems, pneumonia and even lung cancer.
Vaping and Pets
The danger of secondhand cigarette smoke is well known and documented, however, much less is known about e-cigarette vapor. For pet owners, especially those that have switched from smoking to vaping, an important question should be posed: what possible risks does “vaping” have in store for our fine feathered and furry friends?
The Effects of Secondhand Vapor
If you are a vaper already, you don’t need to be told that e-cigarette vapor is a lot more pleasant than regular cigarette smoke, in just about every way. Research, however, is also beginning to confirm this by showing that vapor, especially in the secondhand capacity, is measures safer than cigarettes for those around you, including your household pets.
There have been several studies that specifically focus on the level of harmful toxins present in e-liquid vapor. What researchers are discovering is that e-cigarette vapor has similar toxicity content to that of the ambient air that is around us already. In addition, a recent study presented this year at the annual Workplace and Indoor Aerosol Conference, is showing people that e-liquid aerosol dissipates within a matter of seconds after the user exhales the vapor into the atmosphere. This is the most promising study yet for our human and pet friends alike, as it suggests that is almost impossible for a secondary user, or pet, to inhale any of the vapor at all.
The Effects of Nicotine Poisoning
The more immediate concern for pet owners, especially those with dogs and cats, is the ingestion of the e-liquid itself. While most of the ingredients in e-liquids are fairly benign, the levels of nicotine are high enough to cause poisoning cases in small children and of course, dogs and cats. The lethal levels of a nicotine dose will vary depending on weight of the animal, however, since e-liquids contain nicotine at a more concentrated level, the risk of poisoning is greater than that of regular tobacco. Not all e-liquid contain nicotine, however, the ones that do will almost certainly cause a health issue for your little friend if enough is ingested.
The following are signs of nicotine poisoning:
- Change in Heart Rate
If you suspect your dog or cat is experiencing nicotine poisoning call your veterinarian immediately. Make sure you keep your e-liquids stored in a secure location far away from where curious pets can find them. Encourage any guest you have to do the same and your favorite pets will stay safer and happier as a result of vaping, just like you.
As long as you keep your e-liquids safe and secure, the idea that vaping and pets is not a wise combination, keep in mind that current studies indicate that secondhand vapor is no more harmful that the ambient air already in the room, so relax. In fact, if you are a current smoker and love your pets, why not use this as another reason to switch to vaping instead. You, and your pets, will live longer, healthier lives.
Amber Whaley is a writer, mother and animal lover. She writes for IEC and passionate about covering issues that pertain to health and improving people’s lives and the lives of those around them.