How harmful is tobacco cultivation? Beyond damaging health. Check this out!
2022/5/10 13:27:00 本站

World No Tobacco Day is coming. WHO has always been highlighting how tobacco threatens the development of nations worldwide. The Tobacco Control Working Committee of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) sorted out some information on the harmfulness of tobacco cultivation from World Health Organization for your reference:


How does tobacco destroy our forests?

An estimated 1.5 billion hectares of (mainly tropical) forests have been lost worldwide since the 1970s due to tobacco, contributing to up to 20% of annual greenhouse gas increase. Trees are cut down to clear land for tobacco farming which accounts for about 5% of the total national deforestation. It takes approximately one entire tree, to make 300 cigarettes. Approximately 200,000 hectares of land is cleared annually for tobacco growing and curing.

How does tobacco farming harm our soil?

Fertile land that could be used to grow nutritious crops is used for tobacco. Desertification attributable to tobacco growing is now being seen within many countries and the soil depletion caused by tobacco growing further contributes to food insecurity and nutrition challenges.

How does the growth and use of tobacco affect water supplies?

It is established that cigarette filters are the main polluting and toxic substances in water bodies. It takes a cigarette butt approximately 10 years to decompose, which brings long-term influence to surrounding ecosystems. The entire life cycle of a single cigarette requires approximately 3.7 liters of water, this includes the growing, manufacturing, distribution, use, and disposal. As a result, tobacco growing depletes water tables.

How does the tobacco pollute our air?

Tobacco smoke contains three kinds of greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxides. Tobacco production contributes almost 84 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions annually.

How does tobacco cause littering?

Globally, the approximate weight of waste generated annually from the overall tobacco life cycle is about 25 million metric tons. Approximately 4.5 trillion cigarettes are discarded and 7,000 chemicals released into the environment every year.

How does e-waste cause environmental pollution?

Most plastic e-cigarette cartridges are not reusable or recyclable. The improper disposal of e-cigarette cartridges and batteries is extremely harmful to the environment as they are made up of materials that are not biodegradable.

How does smokeless tobacco use ccause environmental pollution?

The problem with using plastic pouches for packaging smokeless forms of tobacco  has become a global concern. The environmental, human, and ecological damage of plastic waste materials, especially to marine biology, is well documented.

How does tobacco’s environmental impact affect our health?

Tobacco farmers, children who work on tobacco farms and women are disproportionally affected by the harmful effects of tobacco farming. Chronic exposure to certain pesticides results in several health effects including birth defects, benign and malignant tumors, genetic changes, blood disorders, neurological disorders, and endocrine disruption.

What are the humanistic and economic burdens of tobacco use?

Tobacco use is associated with substantial humanistic and economic burden. Smoking is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, respiratory illness, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and more. Based on results from a 2018 study, the total global economic cost of smoking, from both health expenditures and productivity losses, is equivalent in magnitude to 1.8% of the world's annual gross domestic product (GDP).

Original Chinese Article:

Translator: Sara

Editor: Lucy      

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