Tobacco – Threat To Our Environment

Updated on 31 May 2022

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Tobacco – You might have heard this word many times. Many campaigns also occurred to ban tobacco. But some of them couldn’t last long enough against this unhealthy thing. It is a threat not only to the environment but also to human life as well.

Tobacco definitely threatens the environment we live in. That is why in response to this, WHO has come up with ‘World No Tobacco Day’. This campaign began in 2022, aiming to raise awareness among the people regarding the environmental damage caused by tobacco. Ranging from its cultivation, and production to its distribution – tobacco generates a highly toxic waste that harms the environment in a thousand different ways.

Tobacco cultivation destroys around three and a half million hectares of land every year. This has been leading to deforestation, especially in developing nations. Deforestation leads to soil degradation that makes it unable to support the growth of other crops. Our ecosystems have become quite fragile because of growing tobacco. Every cigarette one smokes also burns the resources. It’s high time we realized that like this, we are burning the resources that we depend upon. Not only us, but the entire existence is dependent upon these resources.

It is essential to note that 90% of tobacco products have immensely impacted socioeconomic groups. In developing countries, farmers and government officials see tobacco as a cash product that can generate economic growth. The tobacco industry has damaged the environment in a great way. 

It is important to reduce tobacco consumption because the key lever for achieving the development goals is directly related to health. However, if you want assistance, contact a pulmonologist in Hyderabad. The campaign calls on the government to step up legislation, thereby implementing and strengthening the existing schemes. Let us look at some of the facts regarding tobacco.

Tobacco – Key Facts 

The entire life cycle of tobacco is considerably responsible for harming by polluting the environment. Air pollution is increasing which is partly caused by our smoking habits. It damages the environment, thereby affecting the food chain and other lives on the planet. Here are some key facts that one should know. 

  • We are destroying nearly 3.5 million hectares of land by cultivating tobacco each year. Deforestation of 2,00,000 hectares is caused over a year, thereby leading to degradation of soil.
  • Tobacco production is wiping the essential aspects of our planet by affecting fossil fuels, metal resources, water, etc.
  • Supplying and selling tobacco rely heavily on resources that are taken from the environment. 
  • Every year, around 4.5 trillion cigarettes are not being disposed of with proper protocols. As a result, 1.70 billion of toxic waste is released, wherein the chemicals and waste are thrown into the water, soil, and air (through burning). 

To stop all this and save the environment, strong policies are required. It’s high time that people realized that their essential needs & requirements to exist are being fulfilled through the resources provided by the environment. Consumers must become environmentally conscious by choosing sustainable products. There are several quitting smoking benefits, it not only improves your physical health, but it also has a positive effect on your mental health.

Today, many tobacco corporations have made it a point that environmental sustainability is an integral part of society. They must also fulfill their social responsibilities by adopting strategies and green-washing practices. Green-washing practices include cleaning beaches around, marketing for newly launched eco-friendly products, etc., to distract the public and divert their attention from actions that are responsible for deteriorating the environment. Not only the government, but the people must also start implementing and following the rules for sustained development of the nation. The tobacco waste must not be released into air, water, or soil. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests banning tobacco advertisements, its promotional banners & ads, and the sponsorship programs. Along with cigarettes, e-cigarettes must also be banned because the potential waste of e-cigarettes is much more serious as compared to other tobacco products. E-Cigarettes contain metals that are highly toxic while disposing of them. The major drawback of e-cigarettes is that they are very difficult to dispose of. These are not biodegradable and by burning them, our environment will be harmed immensely.

To avoid all such situations, the policies must be followed. But along with them, the public should quit the products altogether. If quitting is not possible initially, then certain steps can be taken like disposing of the waste with discretion, using nicotine to curb the urge to smoke or have tobacco in any way, or connecting with the professionals from the pulmonology hospital in Hyderabad to get guidance regarding the procedure, etc.

Thus, in order to protect the environment, these baby steps will definitely be counted. Starting from baby steps, we have to move on to greater and bigger steps to prevent soil degradation, deforestation, and exploitation of resources on which our existence depends.





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