Not only for lungs: the damage caused by smoking to the environment


Not only for lungs: the damage caused by smoking to the environment

Although many talk about the effects of smoking on health, they are not aware of its enormous damage to the environment. How do we destroy the environment for the manufacture of cigarettes and what can we do to save the world?


Most people are aware of the great damage smoking has to health, but are not aware of the many effects of smoking on the environment. Every stage of the life cycle of the cigarette, from tobacco growth to the accumulation of garbage in the bucket and cigarette packs, causes enormous environmental damage.



Tobacco is one of the world’s major agricultural crops, most of it grown in the developing world. China is the largest producer of tobacco in the world, followed by Brazil, India and the United States.



One of the problems is that for the cultivation of plots of land for the cultivation of tobacco, deforestation is necessary. Because tobacco cultivation requires more nutrient-rich soil than other crops, such as corn or wheat and fertilizers, cost a lot of money, some farmers choose to move to new soil each time instead of fertilizing the soil.


In addition, for the cultivation of tobacco there is a need for multiple spraying materials. In the United States, only 26% of the spraying materials are used to grow tobacco, and the drying process of tobacco is a major factor in the extinction of the earth’s forests.


One tree for 300 cigarettes

For the production of 300 cigarettes should be cut down one tree. It is estimated that more than 2,000,000 hectares of natural wood are harvested each year for the production of tobacco, which accounts for 5% of deforestation in developing countries and 1.7% of global mining.


In Tanzania, which is twice as big as California, 93% of tobacco is wiped out by natural deforestation. In areas that used to be rich in natural wood, the forests dwindled so much that today farmers have to walk about 10 kilometers to find wood for cutting.


As a result of these changes in soil cover, severe ecological changes have occurred in the area. In Malawi, one of the poorest countries in Africa, farmers received incentives from tobacco companies and many went to tobacco. Tobacco has become the main product exported to more than 60 countries.


For example, in Malawi, 3% of the natural woodland is harvested every year. The land used to produce tobacco could have been used to grow food that is so needed in these countries. In South Korea, 45 percent of deforestation is for tobacco production and China, the world’s largest tobacco producer, is over 20 percent.


One tree for 300 cigarettes ()

One tree for 300 cigarettes ()




Tobacco growth is moving to developing countries

Many organizations have defined the transition to tobacco growing as a major threat to sustainable and sustainable development, as profit for farmers and workers is short-lived, while long-term damage to the ecosystem, farmers and residents is long-term. Over the past decade tobacco has grown mainly to developing countries and is based on temporary and cheap labor and child labor.


Cigarettes, matches and smoking aids cause many fires every year. In Alberta alone in 1997-2001, there were 2,310 cigarette fires that caused 284 casualties, 40 deaths and property damage worth $ 46 million. About 1,000,000 fires are caused each year by children as a result of the use of cigarette lighters, and an estimated 800 people are killed each year in cigarette-related fires.


In order to transport tobacco and distribute cigarettes in the world, it is necessary to use airplanes and trucks. Although there is no accurate information about the impact on the environment, there is no doubt that this is additional damage. To this must be added the resources invested in advertising various tobacco products, especially cigarettes.


Smoking – the main cause of air pollution

Smoking is the main cause of air pollution in indoor spaces. Cigarette smoke contains about 4000 chemicals, 50 of which are known carcinogens, and the damage of passive smoking has been demonstrated in many studies.


The cigarette butts and cigarette packages make up about 40% of the street trash in the Western world. It is estimated that 4.3 trillion cigarette butts are thrown into the garbage each year. Differences that contain the same 4000 toxic chemicals of cigarettes, they are not degradable and accumulate in the lakes and seas of the Earth. In contact with water chemicals such as cadmium, lead and arsenic are released and poison the marine environment, vegetation and animals.


We are used to thinking about cigarettes as a product that smokes it, but we must remember that tobacco should be planted, rubbed, sprayed, dried, grind, mix, roll, pack, transport, advertise, market, sell, vacate packages and treat health damage. Tobacco production rose from 4.2 million tons in 1974 to 7.2 million in 2000.


While tobacco consumption in the developed world decreased by 5%, consumption in developing countries increased by 70%. Every year, about 5.5 trillion cigarettes are smoked in the world, produced by seven global tobacco companies, and the findings of the World Bank report point to an impact on the global economy, particularly in developing countries.



In conclusion, quitting smoking is not only the most effective intervention to improve the health of all of us and contribute to our environment and future generations.