Nothing makes me madder than when people use children or animals as a marketing scheme. Putting it a bit harsh? Maybe. The whole “Truth” campaign and their anti-smoking mission is fine but why are they using cats with ill-informed “facts”? Yes, smoking can be bad for us and bad for animals. Yes, you should not smoke near your cat. That is just common sense. To say a cat’s cancer risk doubles is an exaggeration at its finest. There are things you use in your home on a day-to-day basis FAR worse than cigarette smoke for your cat.
The Real Truth?
First of all, don’t let fear tactics fool you and do some studying yourself. Did you know that the most common reason for people getting lung cancer is actually from improper breathing? You will find that cigarette smoke is less damaging to your lungs than the chemicals that get released into the air from factories, cities, and even bonfires. You may also learn that the chance of getting lung cancer from smoking alone is a lot less (talking 3-7% depending on the cigarettes) than they want you to believe. It is quite funny as well that they don’t tell you that long-term smokers increase their risk of cancer when they quit cold turkey vs cutting back slowly. This isn’t about us though, this is about cats. While you should never smoke near your cat, cigarette smoke is the least of your worries as far as damaging their lungs or causing cancer in their bodies goes.
Chemicals that are in air fresheners, bleach, cleaning agents, processed meat and foods, body sprays, spray on deodorant, hair spray, certain essential oils, and nail polish will increase your risk as well as your cat’s risk of lung cancer (and various other health issues). That is just the short end of the list. Why are there no campaigns on TV against these products?
Body sprays (like those from Bath & Body Works) have chemicals in them that can alter cells in the body. This is the same for anything that is meant for us humans to smell good. There are also chemicals in many pet foods that increase the chances as well. All of these items are risks for cancer, not just smoking. Pet owners need to consider this.
Using Cats as a Marketing Tool
Cats are used in a lot of marketing campaigns. Ever hear the term “sex sells”? Well, cats sell too. Nothing is more attention-grabbing with people than animals or children getting harmed. Like many other campaigns to get their money or to get their point across, Truth has used cats to “prove” just how bad smoking is. You want people to stop smoking? Why not use legitimate facts? They took statistics of smoke harming cats and dogs and drastically blew it out of proportion. They even claim that if everyone doesn’t stop smoking, all cats will die. I am all for people taking care of their cats and keeping them healthy, but this has to stop. You can’t blame one raindrop in a puddle for being wet.
No, Smoking is NOT Healthy
I am not trying to take away the fact that smoke can harm your cat here. Smoking is not healthy no matter which way you cut the pie but you have to consider other risks that are far more common in homes. I want people, especially cat lovers, to do their research. Don’t listen to everything you hear on TV or see in the news. Look for legitimate studies that have been done for YEARS. Most studies can be found online with the right keywords. Educate yourself. Your cat can’t tell you that your favorite body spray makes their chest hurt or that Febreze you use near their box makes it hard to breathe.
Next time you want to shame a smoker who owns cats, think about all the parabens and chemical sprays you use every day around their little lungs and how much damage they can do over time. No one wins in this argument people. Stop blaming the lesser of two evils and do your own research. There are far more dangerous chemicals out there used in homes on a daily basis that can lead to death.