Smoking around Parrots

By Susan c:

Cigarettes, vaping and marijuana aren’t bird friendly.  Don’t expose your bird to second hand smoke! Cigarette smoke contains 250 harmful chemicals, and 69 of those are known to cause cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Surgeon General have classified secondhand smoke as a known human carcinogen. Exposure to secondhand smoke irritates the airways and has immediate harmful effects on a person’s heart and blood vessels. Aside from respiratory issues, there are anecdotal reports of cigarette smoke contributing to feather plucking.

Marijuana smoke also contains numerous chemicals and is irritating to human lungs, so common sense would assume that it would also affect the avian respiratory system. If you live in a state where pot is legal, please indulge well away from pet birds.

Vaping has become increasingly popular, but is also best experienced away from your bird. According to a research at the Harvard School of Public Health, diacetyl, a flavoring chemical linked to cases of severe respiratory disease, was found in more than 75% of flavored electronic cigarettes and refill liquids tested. Two other potentially harmful related compounds were found in many of the tested samples.

Living with pet birds is more than a hobby. It’s truly a lifestyle, and a great deal of that lifestyle involves cleaning up the indoor environment. Not only will your bird benefit—you will too!


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General 2006

Harvard School of Public Health, Environmental Health Perspectives 12/08/2015


Below are some useful links that talk about how smoking affects a bird's health. 


Smoking Around Your Birds - If you choose to smoke, that’s your business and your right.  This post is about secondhand smoke, and how smoking around your birds affects their health.


Playing With Fire: Tobacco & Pet Birds - Tobacco is bad for birds (and humans and dogs and cats and … well, everyone!). I thought I would take this opportunity to point out some specifics, though, so those who do smoke can do their best to keep their feathered friends safe. Please keep in mind that other inhaled substances such as marijuana and vaping products are equally bad for birds.