Electronic cigarettes: a real danger for dogs and cats


For more than 10 years now, electronic cigarettes have invaded our homes with a rather tempting promise: to make us stop smoking. For some it’s effective, for others less so. In any case, these rather peculiar cigarettes are causing heated debates in the scientific community regarding their real impact on health. But for animals, there is no debate to be had. Indeed, they pose a serious threat of poisoning, especially in dogs and cats. Explanations.

The nicotine involved
Signs of nicotine intoxication
What about steam?
The nicotine involved
Nicotine poisoning is now not uncommon in dogs and cats. Indeed, they are regularly exposed to electronic cigarettes, especially in their own homes. But what can be so dangerous?
In reality, it is nicotine in its liquid state that turns out to be a real poison for pets. Indeed, electronic cigarette cartridges are often filled with liquid nicotine. They sometimes even contain more concentrated levels of liquid nicotine than traditional cigarettes.
And let’s not even talk about refill liquids. Refills can contain up to 100 mg of nicotine (compared to the maximum 24 mg in electronic cigarettes). These refills are then diluted when the electronic cigarette cartridges are filled.
However, since most liquids contain flavorings (vanilla, strawberry, candy…), they are particularly attractive to dogs and cats. Thus, it sometimes happens that cats and dogs ingest them. In this case, it is the intoxication assured.

The signs of intoxication with nicotine
If a dog or cat swallows liquid containing nicotine, it will present the following symptoms within the hour: vomiting, hypersalivation, diarrhea, strong agitation, increased heart rate.

If the animal has ingested high doses of nicotine, tremors may appear, followed by convulsions, profound lethargy, muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, cardiac arrhythmia and finally death.

In all cases, a suspected ingestion of nicotine is a veterinary emergency. In order to avoid any incident, it is essential to keep electronic cigarettes and all related products out of the reach of animals.

What about steam?
The health effects of the steam produced by electronic cigarettes are still unclear. However, initial studies on the subject seem to show that it may pose some danger to humans and animals.

Indeed, steaming indoors deteriorates air quality by increasing the concentration of nicotine, hydrocarbons and aluminum. These particles are all closely associated with lung cancer and cardiovascular disease…

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