THE LANARKSHIRE health board is running a campaign with vet surgeries to protect pets and children from second-hand smoke.

Quit Your Way, the health board's team is hoping to emphasise the harmful effects exposure to smoke has on pets of all kinds including dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs and even fish, amongst others.

Pets are at risk in the same way that humans are. The NHS team has distributed information and leaflets to vet surgeries about the health risks of second-hand smoke.

They also provide free support and information as well as free Nicotine Replacement Products should their clients wish to quit smoking altogether.

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Queensley Ajuyakpe, health improvement senior, NHS Lanarkshire, said: “We want to give our family the best and healthiest lives we can, and this includes our pets.

“Many Lanarkshire residents love their pets like additional family members and may not be aware that their pets are at risk of health issues from exposure to second-hand smoke. Sharing this important information with local vets will hopefully lead to more residents making their homes and car smoke-free.

“We understand that nicotine is a powerful and addictive substance, help and support tailored to each person’s needs are available to support anyone to stop smoking through Quit Your Way Lanarkshire.”

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David Gardner-Roberts MRCVS, veterinary surgeon - ARMAC Vets, Biggar, said: “Smoking tobacco is harmful to pets in the same way it’s harmful to other people in our home. Although the smoke we see disappears quickly, the particles are so small that 85% of them are invisible and odourless.

“The levels of invisible but harmful toxins in the air can linger for up to five hours afterwards and pose a threat to pets of all kinds.

“Encouraging a smoke-free environment for children, families and pets can help protect them from inhaling the same toxic chemicals found in tobacco smoke, as there is no safe level of second-hand smoke.”