Are E-Cigarettes Dangerous for Your Pets?

Are E-Cigarettes Dangerous for Your Pets?

In the last year or two I’ve noticed more and more people using e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking.  My boyfriend, who was a smoker for years, recently starting using the a e-cigarette to help him quit and now instead of accidentally sending entire packs of Marlboro’s through the wash, I’m pulling e-cigarette “e-juice” bottles out of every corner of the house.  Of course, my cat takes great pleasure in knocking them over.  I’m often kept up at night with the thought of my Morty Fluff knocking over a bottle, spilling the contents all over the floor and licking the juice, only to be dead by morning.

My worst fears came to life when I awoke in the middle of the night one day to find Morty curled up at my feet sleeping on top of the e-cigarette! Upon closer inspection, I noticed my cat had a spot on his back that smelled like e-juice and I proceeded to LOSE. MY. SHIT.  I immediately woke my boyfriend, scooped the sleepy kitty up and wash his fur with a damp cloth until I could no longer smell it.  We then stayed up the rest of the night anxiously watching him to make sure he didn’t show any signs of distress.  He turned out to be fine. Thank god.  Needless to say, we both felt horrible and my boyfriend immediately replaced his device with a new one that would not leak.

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So how dangerous are these e-cigarettes? Does this shit happen all the time? Well considering the “juice” contains nicotine, then most experts would say, yes it is very dangerous for pets. Some of the symptoms of nicotine poisoning among animals are diarrhea, vomiting, agitation, increased heart rate, depression, weakness, coma, tremors and cardiac arrest.  Cats are more at risk because they are more likely to ingest the juice by licking or chewing on the bottle.

According to Pet Poison Hotline, since 2014 there has been a 400% increase in e-cigarette poisoning.  Sounds extreme, but considering that between 2010 and 2013, the percent of adults who had used e-cigarettes more than doubled from 3.3 percent to 8.5 percent.  Assuming that trend continues, it makes more sense that pets are now at risk.

So it’s safe to say if you are a smoker or have a smoker living in your home, you should take the following precautions to keep your pets safe.

DON’T SMOKE ANYTHING AROUND YOUR PETS.

Especially traditional tobacco cigarettes.  If you’re a smoker, do it outside or in a well ventilated area away from your pets.  Dogs and cats are still at risk for second hand smoke just like humans.  The ASPCA lists tobacco smoke as a toxin for pets. Dr. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, medical director of the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center explains, ““Nicotine from secondhand smoke can have effects to the nervous systems of cats and dogs. Environmental tobacco smoke has been shown to contain numerous cancer-causing compounds, making it hazardous for animals as well as humans.”

Even with the e-cigarettes, we don’t know the long term effects of the vaper on your pets.  Basically, your pets deserve to only breathe clean air, so do all your smoking outside.

Keep your e-cigarette juice locked away.

Do not leave your full or empty bottles for e-juice lying around the house.  Be careful, and keep them somewhere out of reach.  Same goes with used ashtrays, cigarette butts, nicotine gum, patches etc.  Don’t leave them out or dispose of them in a trashcan your pets can get into.

Invest in a high-quality air purifier.

Do you have a problem with your roommates smoking pot in the living room? An air purifier will keep the air quality free from any smoke that ends up in the house and will help keep you and your pets healthy. It will also rid your house of dust, pollen and excess pet dander! So it’s a win, win.

Follow these simple steps and you will avoid an emergency or panic attack.  If you do believe your pet has ingested a nicotine product take your pet to the vet right away.  Seeing a vet immediately can be the difference between life and death.

 

One Comment

  1. Walter Dorsey

    E-cigarettes are toxic to pets. E-cigarettes or premium e-liquid are better than smoking for humans but these are a health hazard for pets.

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