It’s no secret that tobacco kills people, but did you know that Big Tobacco’s products kill pets too? The organization truth, that is part of America’s largest non-profit public health organization dedicated to making tobacco use a thing of the past, is calling attention to the impact of tobacco on our pets with its new ad, “#CATmageddon”. According to a new truth survey, young pet owners visit the vet just as frequently as visiting the doctor themselves.

“#CATmageddon” premiered on the 2016 Grammy Awards broadcast and has already been viewed more than 33 million times. The new ad called “#FinishIT” makes clear that dogs and cats are twice as likely to get cancer if their owners smoke. An extension of truth’s award-winning Finish It campaign, the ad underscores the immediate, unexpected dangers of the number one cause of preventable death, tobacco.

To explore Gen Z’s love of pets, truth conducted a nationwide survey of 1,000 15-21 year-olds. The survey revealed young pet owners are seriously dedicated to the health of their pets:

  • Pet owners visit the vet just as frequently as they visit the doctor themselves

  • Pet owners are more likely to buy organic food for their pets than for themselves
  • Nearly a quarter of pet owners have taken a sick day to care for their pet

It’s clear that today’s youth care about animals. With the teen cigarette smoking rate currently at 7 percent, this latest ad urges, “Let’s treat our best friends like real best friends.”. And in collaboration with Petco, truth is giving teens ways to help pets exposed to smoking in the home and carry the Finish It message.

“The more attention we generate and the more young people we engage to help us finish the tobacco epidemic, the more lives – humans and pets – we can save,” said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative. “When one out of four young pet owners has taken a sick day to care for a pet, you know you will grab their attention with the truth about pets and cancer.”

Petco, a leading pet specialty retailer that focuses on nurturing powerful relationships between people and pets, has teamed up with truth to help spread the word. Beginning this month all Petco locations nationwide will be giving out free Finish It pet collar charms and tips on how to protect pets from the negative impact of tobacco. Pet owners can support “Finishing it” in the name of their furry friends by visiting a local Petco to receive a collar charm for their dog or cat to wear, while supplies last.

“We’ve watched for more than 50 years as people increasingly treat their pets like true members of the family, so we’re not surprised to see that many young pet parents take their pet’s health so seriously,” said Dr. Whitney Miller, Director of Veterinary Medicine for Petco.