Friday 18 February 2011

Smokers To Be Banned From Keeping Pets?

Forewarned is forearmed.

Vet Alex Gough this week told the ­Veterinary Times that passive ­smoking is not just a problem for humans. He wrote: “Current evidence ­suggests that there is a significant increased risk to our animals’ health involved with living with a smoker.”

Mr Gough, from Bath, says some critics want smokers to be banned from keeping pets even though we don’t have laws to protect children from passive smoking.
Worry not, Alex. I'm sure the lunatics will get round to proposing both sooner or later.


William said...

Is this orgy of banning deliberately engineered to push this country into revolution or are tptb just becoming more confident that the proles will take whatever shit they throw at them?

Unknown said...

What is this "current evidence" he refers to?

Dick Puddlecote said...

The same question occurred to me, Richard. No study that I can find, which suggests the usual back of a beer mat extrapolation from something he read. It's how 'experts' are made. ;)

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I read this kind of stuff and I honestly don't know whether to laugh or cry...

I risk becoming repetitious here, but...

where do they find these people?

Anonymous said...

Could this be the same one?

Passive smoking puts pets at risk - 2002
"People who smoke at home could be putting their pets at risk of cancer.
A study carried out by vets in the United States has linked passive smoking to cancer in cats."

"Dr Antony Moore and colleagues at Tufts University in Massachusetts studied 180 cats treated at a Tufts veterinary hospital between 1993 and 2000."

High cancer risk

The vets hope their findings, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, will encourage more people to give up smoking."

"They found that, adjusting for age and other factors, cats exposed to second-hand smoke were twice as likely to develop the disease.
However, if they were exposed to passive smoking for five years or more that risk tripled.
If two people living in the house smoke, the cats were four times more likely to contract the cancer.

There are no figures on how many cats in the UK get feline lymphoma.

Dr Moore said the findings raise questions about the risks to children of developing lymphoma if their parents smoke."

"It's difficult to say how many cats get feline lymphoma, believed to be caused by a leukemia virus, scientists said. Lung cancer rarely strikes cats."

I think we get the picture.


Anonymous said...



I have no more to say on the matter.

Anonymous said...

Bird websites for those who keep birds as pets are where I first started seeing this a while back and they deliberately create fictions based on no facts what-so-ever to stir up fanaticism amongst bird keepers who are already in a frenzy over the thought of aerosol sprays or teflon being used in their households. They're making quite an art out of this propaganda at this point. I'm certain they won't stop with this as they wish to make inroads into all minds at all levels to constantly fear the sight of smoke until the sight of liberty itself becomes fearful to behold.

Anonymous said...

Now, far be it from me to want to invoke Godwin's Law here, but the similarities are so, so scary that it just can't be avoided - didn't the Nazis ban Jews from keeping pets as one of their many "preliminary" persecutions?

Anonymous said...

Good heavens, you're right, Anon.

Jews forbidden to keep dogs, cats and birds

I only got as far as the parks and beaches.

PT Barnum said...

6 sadly demised cats, across two decades:
2 from kidney failure at 14 and 15
1 from impact with car at 4
1 from stroke at 11
1 from feline leukemia (not lymphoma) at 10
1 from bowel obstruction (not cancer) at 16

Oh, and one aged 19 still going with her high blood pressure and hyperthyroidism.

And they all passively smoking along with me sat on my lap, shoulders or head.

If this even shows a hint of becoming a reality, they will find a lot of very angry cat-lovers on their doorstep. Including me.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps all smoking dog, cat, tortoises, goldfish, snakes, meerkats, pigs, especially the pigs etc., should march their pets to ASH HQ and leave them all there for Arnott & Co., to look after, telling her it's th only safe place away from SHS.

This is getting beyond a farce, the sad thing is there will actually be people that'll believe it.

Probably this vet is after some grants/funding.

I don't think all the shelters that take animals in that have been abandoned won't be too pleased if this takes off and people start abandoning their animals in droves.

So yes they let them remove pets from smokers an casue a big uproar when the majority have to be put down.

richard hansen said...

I posted this on Dr.Siegels blog but I wanted to put a copy here since yours was the article responsible for my rant.

I know this is probably not new to anyone here but I just read this today and am still in disbelief...though I shouldn't be. I just read an article where there are new legislative discussions being proposed to BAN smokers from owning pets!! The infamous line "studies show....." goes on to describe supposed studies that have shown household pets are negatively affected by second-hand smoke. HOLYSH.......T, what next?!?!? House plants? Trees? Flowers? Fish? Insects?....hey, wait a minute...if they prove that smoking kills insects we may have a toe-hold there...right? I mean, maybe we're useful for something afterall and not the total scourge on society that we have been slandered to be.

They will have to re-vamp the outdoor bans because we can rid the parks, forests, cemetaries and rock gardens of vile and annoying insects. Indoor bans as well as we proudly smoke to keep all households and public establishments free from disease-spreading insect infestations and at a fraction of the cost of current exterminators-without the dangerous chemicals they use - in comparison, we're more eco-friendly.

Just think, is it worth it to have a few of us to your house while we smoke and watch a ballgame, knowing that it will keep your home insect free and your precious little Baby Joey, asleep in his crib, will not get his wee little wanky bitten by some hairy, eight-legged, creepy-crawly thing....think of the security and peace of mind.

Are there truly REAL people out there who do not and cannot see that this unceasing, boundless, hysterical and irrational mind-set of control thinking and control behavior is, in fact, pathological...and destructive? This collective thinking is derangement beyond measure and a form of mental dysfuction that unless someone finds a way to stop it, will consume everything in its path, much like a fire, sucking the very oxygen from the room. Unabated.....there will be no witnesses left, no mourners, no tears shed because there will be no one to shed them. The many soapboxes will still be there bearing the footprints of every maniacal architect of the hollocaust....but those too will eventually fade over time....until everything is gone....

Well, almost everything....the insects will still be there... and one bug will say to the other, "Whew, that was close, they almost sent the smokers after us."
And the other bug will say, "Naaaay that would never happen."

Where have I heard that before...."naaaay, that would never happen."

Anonymous said...

Snowden on Velvet Glove Iron Fist has just published a report from the WHO re tobacco and alcohol harm. I have just left this comment:

""Dockrell [from ASH] is not stupid. He knows very well that what he says is nonsense, but by saying it, he attracts our attention. Subliminally, we begin to accept the message which he wants us to accept - GUILT. His numerical claims may be rubbish, but, by talking about them, we subliminally accept that smaller numbers might be true. We do not say that the whole thing is crap!
Would I be wrong in saying that all of ASH's (and, ultimately, the WHO’s) statements are calculated to achieve the effect that they want in this way?""

And therefore, would I be wrong in suggesting that vet Alex Gough is invoking the same con trick? Whether the detail in his 'study' is right or wrong is not important from ASH's point of view. Only the GUILT is important. Cat owners, even if they do not smoke, will feel GUILTY! This con trick is a common phenomenon - it applies to reports about fag ends littering the streets. PEOPLE WHO DO NOT SMOKE AND DO NOT LITTER FEEL GUILTY ABOUT THE LITTER, EVEN IF THEY DO NOT PERSONALLY CONTRIBUTE! The ploy is deliberate. Factual errors only add to the persuasion because they make you think about the subject.


JuliaM said...

"...or are tptb just becoming more confident that the proles will take whatever shit they throw at them?"

It seems to be going quite well so far. For THEM...

Anonymous said...

From Dave Atherton

In the 1970's you may remember experiments on Beagles smoking 100 cigarettes+ a day. Not one contracted lung cancer. Out of all the millions of animals that have been tested they finally found 1 rat with a lung carcinoma.

Show me the bodies.

Longrider said...

Following PTB's comemnts. Here is the list of my deceased felines over the past two decades:

1 - RTI
1 - Accidental strangulation
4 - heart failure (3 congenital)
2 - kidney failure (1 congenital)
1 - stroke
1 - rheumatic fever
1 - multiple organ failure

Most of these were moggies well into old age - 12 years plus. How does this relate to Mrs L's roll-ups?

budgie said...

The irony is that humans are much more likely to suffer health problems caused by pets. And, of course, most children are involuntarily exposed to these risks. Some are even killed or seriously injured by pets that lose the plot...

One could easily argue that pet owners deserve the same vilification currently reserved solely for smokers. If they're genuinely concerned about health (which, of course, they're not) they should be calling for a ban on pets...

Ivan D said...

I tried to find some real research on smoking and pets but it is a bit thin on the ground. Really ridiculous rubbish is however plentiful. Enjoy
Forget third had smoke and humans. Cats are clearly the way to go if you want to prove how dangerous it can be.

This paper does claim some link with feline myeloma but it is a pretty weak case study as far as I can tell.

Pogo said...

I'm glad that my cats can't read.

Despite living in a household containing two 30-a-day smokers (of which I'm not one) the present "crew" consists of:

One old tabby, 21 and a few months,
One slightly less old tabby, 18,
One moderately ancient longhair, 16,
and the baby, about 8 (but not really sure as he was already adult when he wandered in).

Our losses over the last ten years or so have been aged, 20, 19, 16, 15, 14 and 11, who died from the aftereffects of an operation, all the rest from "natural causes" or euthanasia for same.

So, it's obvious that we're killing them off at a frightening rate!

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Just had a look at one of the studies quoted in the "" thing from "Ivan"s post...

"Passive Smoking and Canine Lung Cancer Risk" John S. Reif et al.

...A weak relation was found for exposure to a smoker in the home (odds ratio = 1.6, 95% confidence interval 0.7–3.7), after controlling for confounding in stratified analyses. Strong evidence for a further increase in risk associated with more than one smoker in the home was not found, nor was a significant trend observed for increasing number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day or an exposure index based on number of smokers in each household, packs smoked per day, and the proportion of time the dog spent within the home. However, skull shape appeared to exert effect modification; the risk was restricted to breeds with short and medium length noses (odds ratio = 2.4,95% confidence interval 0.7–7.8).

So, basically, for anyone who knows anything about stats, the 95% CIs bracket unity - which essentially means they are not in any way significant and there was no apparent dose response either. All in all, a non-study, that (like most similar things) concludes by suggesting that more study (ie funding) is needed.

So, "Ivan" is absolutely correct, it's a right load of old bollocks.

Anonymous said...

So what would happen? Would all the pets be taken from smokers and be re-housed? Given the number of adverts out there for charities like that Dog's Trust bunch, I doubt it. I would suggest the lion's share would be housed for a month before being humanely executed. And that message remains where it comes to banning new owners as well. If there are less people who are willing or allowed to take pets, there will be fewer animals housed. What do people think happens to animals that can't be housed?

Sadistic bastards!

Dick Puddlecote said...

Anon @ 15:10: The smoking ban has never been about health, likewise the idea of smokers being banned from keeping pets isn't really about the welfare of the pet. They just don't like smokers, so your summation would be correct. :)

SadButMadLad said...

Further to pogo's comment.

"In statistics, a claim to 95% confidence simply means that the researcher has seen something occur that only happens one time in 20 or less. If one were to roll two dice and get double six (which happens 1/36th of the time, or about 3%), few would claim this as proof that the dice were fixed, although statistically speaking one could have 97% confidence that they were. Similarly, the finding of a statistical link at 95% confidence is not proof, nor even very good evidence, that there is any real connection between the things linked."

Dick Puddlecote said...

Ahem, you guys at are allowed to comment here too, you know. ;)

Anonymous said...

Puddles: If you can't honestly figure that out, you must not read your own blog much. Strange, that! ;) The comments you don't care to moderate surely aren't a flattering reflection of your blog.

(yes, I'm sure we'll all die angry and alone because your anonymous fans don't like being criticized about smoking. Honestly, Alex never suggested banning smokers from keeping pets. He wrote an article about smoking links to pet illness, and mentioned that some folks think it ought to be banned. It's called "journalism". Not the tabloid rubbish, just reporting of news.

And yes, I'm posting anonymously - if it's good enough for your readers, it's good enough for me! :)

Anonymous said...

(note: before Mr Puddlecote edited his last comment, his post inquired why a topic on called his blog an "offensive blog".)

Anonymous said...

Dick Puddlecote said...

Ahem, you guys at are allowed to comment here too, you know. We'd love to know why this is termed an 'Offensive blog' over at your place. ;)

Dick Puddlecote said...

"The comments you don't care to moderate surely aren't a flattering reflection of your blog"

Err, comments aren't moderated here unless there is a complaint as it's a libertarian blog believing in free speech.

"Honestly, Alex never suggested banning smokers from keeping pets."

Never said he did, neither did the quote itself. The question mark and the future nature of the headline should have given you a clue as to the nature of the piece, surely?

"And yes, I'm posting anonymously - if it's good enough for your readers, it's good enough for me! :)"

Fine by me. :)

Dick Puddlecote said...

Anon: I changed that as I had just seen an e-mail from Alex (which was in my spam folder unfortunately - hotmail account and ...), so it didn't need asking anymore. :)

Anonymous said...

Ok, fair 'nuff. I do appreciate that you removed the post calling for alex's children to die.

I think the "offensive" label came from vets being unfairly lumped as bad scientists just because they report on unpopular clinical findings. If your readers don't like the study, nobody's saying you can't disagree - that's the fantastic thing about the scientific method. I'm personally delighted that so many of your readers have pets who have lived long, happy and distinguished lives.

Perhaps someone will author a study pointing this out (with questionnaires, health checkups, and so on to make it an objective health measurements) and then you've written scientific proof, too!

The point being, we can all be civil about it, I hope!

(disclaimer: I hold libertarian views myself.)

Anonymous said...

(sorry for the multiple posting)

I would also like to apologize for calling you "Puddles" - it was uncalled for and I'm sorry.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"vets being unfairly lumped as bad scientists just because they report on unpopular clinical findings"

I think that's been misread (or a result of clunky description here, perhaps). Unfortunately, there are many who quote shoddy science in this area (the kind of studies we regularly scrutinise here) and claim to be 'experts'. No suggestion that vets are claiming such, but there are plenty who do.

On the comment in question, it referred to a particular blog (language alert) you may not know about and the 'offensive' mention of kids is tame by comparison to the accusations of child-murdering that smokers have been subjected to in recent times, believe me.

"I would also like to apologize for calling you "Puddles" - it was uncalled for and I'm sorry."

No need, I've had worse. ;)

Dick Puddlecote said...

Edit: "there are plenty of others who do"