Cats and dogs are twice as likely to get cancer if their owner smokes. This is due to the animals’ exposure to second – and thirdhand smoke – both of which are toxic to pets.

Katherine McNamara and Sophie
Katherine McNamara and Sophie

That’s why DoSomething.org, the largest organization for young people and social change and truth, the nation’s longest running and most successful youth smoking prevention campaign, have teamed up to give pets (and their owners) a voice in the movement to end smoking through Four-Legged Finishers.

Video: Katherine McNamara and Her Dog Bark Out Against Secondhand Smoke

The Four-Legged Finishers campaign uses this generations’ love for their pets to help educate others about the effects of cigarette smoke on pet health. To participate, upload a photo of a favorite furry friend to DoSomething.org/finishers, and add a witty caption that shows how your pet feels about the fact that cigarette smoke negatively affects pet health. Participants who upload a photo and caption will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $5,000 scholarship from DoSomething.org. The top 12 photo and caption combinations will be selected to participate in a national meme contest. Votes cast online will determine the ultimate Four-Legged Finisher.

Katherine McNamara, the star of Freeform’s hit show Shadowhunters has joined the movement and recorded a public service announcement to encourage her fans to give their pets a voice by becoming a “Finisher” and joining the movement to end smoking for good.

“My dog Sophie and I are excited to be a part DoSomething.org and truth’s Four-Legged Finishers campaign to give pets a voice in the effort to end smoking,” said Katherine McNamara. “Our furry friends deserve to live healthy, smoke-free lives and our generation has the power to finish smoking for good.”

“Last summer, DoSomething.org and truth activated young people across the country to clean up more than 3.7 million cigarette butts through our GTFO campaign,” said Aria Finger, CEO and Chief Old Person at DoSomething.org. “Our members are obsessed with their pets and we’re thrilled to join forces with truth for another unique way to help young people finish smoking for good.”

With the teen cigarette smoking rate currently at 7 percent, truth urges, “Let’s treat our best friends like real best friends,” empowering teens to ‘Finish It’ and end smoking for good if not for themselves, then for their pets. “#CATmageddon,” first aired during the 2016 Grammy Awards broadcast and has already been viewed more than 33 million times. By tapping into pet mania, truth is rallying this generation of teens to end tobacco use for good. Four-Legged Finishers is another way for truth to continue calling attention to the impact of tobacco on our pets. These and other surprising impacts on the things teens care about are all featured for sharing on thetruth.com.

“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, the national public health organization that directs and funds the truth campaign.

For more information on the campaign, visit DoSomething.org/finishers.

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