Health and Human Services Agency



Great American Smokeout is November 16, 2017

Making the healthy choice for you and your pets


(Placerville, CA) – Have you been trying to quit smoking? The Great American Smokeout on November 16, 2017, is the perfect day to join other smokers who also want to quit! The Great American Smokeout is a national observance that encourages smokers to quit for one day so that they can visualize a healthier lifestyle. This year an extra motivation for quitting smoking might be your pet.

"Most smokers already know that smoking is unhealthy for people, but they might not realize that smoke can be harmful to their pets," said Captain Alexis Shaw with El Dorado County Animal Services. "Secondhand smoke can greatly affect pets, and can even cause lung cancer or a shortened lifespan."

According to a study from Colorado State University, secondhand smoke can negatively affect pets in various ways, including:


  • Increased nasal tumors in longer nosed breeds of dog
  • Increased lung cancer for shorter or medium nosed breeds of dogs
  • Allergies
  • Eyes and skin issues


  • Higher incidence of oral cancer and lymphoma due to their grooming habits
  • Grooming behavior exposes the mucous membrane of their mouth to the cancer-causing carcinogens


  • Eye and skin diseases and respiratory problems
  • Pneumonia
  • Lung cancer

To prepare a game plan for the Great American Smokeout, smokers should remove e-cigs, cigarettes, chew, ashtrays, and lighters, and keep them out of sight. Creating a plan of action ahead of time will help improve success. Things to do instead of smoking:

  • Take Fido for a walk
  • Stay away from smokers
  • Stock up on your favorite fruits and snacks
  • Try some deep breathing exercises
  • Sign up for yoga
  • Paddleboard or kayak with your dog

Many organizations, including doctors, dentists, hospitals and employers, offer stop smoking information, counseling and other services. The California Smokers' Helpline, 1-800-NO-BUTTS and the American Cancer Society, 1-800-ACS-2345 also offer free phone line counseling for smokers in various languages. Resources can be found online at or

For additional resources to quit smoking or to find a stop smoking class in your area, please contact Mary Mast, Health Program Specialist with the El Dorado County Tobacco Use Prevention Program (TUPP), at (530) 621-6115. TUPP is a program of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency.


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