Bertone-Johnson research on secondhand smoke and feline lymphoma used in new anti-smoking publicity campaign

University of Massachusetts Epidemiology faculty Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson

Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson

May 5, 2016, home to the national anti-tobacco Truth Initiative, has launched a new public health campaign to encourage people to stop smoking for their cat's health based on research conducted by Associate Professor of Epidemiology Liz Bertone-Johnson.

The video and ad campaign highlights the doubled risk of cancer in cats exposed to second-hand smoke, as found in Bertone-Johnson et al's 2002 study published in The American Journal of Epidemiology, and encourages smokers to quit for the health of their feline pets.

The new campaign, known as "Catmaggedon," has created a flurry of responses across news and social media platforms. Twitter hashtag #catmaggedon surfaced in early February and continues to see a large amount of activity on Twitter.

As reported by NPR, Sherry Emery, the director of the University of Illinois, Chicago's Health Media Collaboratory commented that "This is the first time I think [anti-smoking campaigns] have gone after the health effects for animals. And people care so much about their animals."

View the Catmaggedon video below.