WHO raises the alarm over tobacco’s impact on the environment.

WHO raises the alarm over tobacco's impact on the environment

The World Health Organization (WHO) has today revealed new information on how tobacco damages both the environment and human health. WHO is calling for steps to make the industry more accountable for the destruction it is causing. Every year the tobacco industry costs more than 8 million human lives. Six hundred million trees, 200,000 hectares of land, 22 billion tonnes of water, and 84 million CO2. Most tobacco is grown in low-and-middle-income countries, and water and farmland are often desperately needed to produce food for the region. Instead, they are being used to grow deadly tobacco plants while more and more land is being cleared of forests.

Tobacco Poisoning our planet highlights the industry’s carbon footprint from production.

The WHO report “Tobacco Poisoning our planet” highlights the industry’s carbon footprint from production. Processing and transporting tobacco is equivalent to one-fifth of the CO2 produced by the commercial airline industry each year, further contributing to global warming. Tobacco products are the most littered item on the planet. Tobacco contains over 7,000 toxic chemicals, leaching into our environment when discarded. Roughly 4.5 trillion cigarette filters pollute our oceans, rivers, city sidewalks, parks, soil, and beaches. Despite tobacco industry marketing, there is no evidence that filters have any proven health benefits. WHO calls on policy-makers to treat cigarette filters as what they are, single-use plastics. Who considers banning cigarette filters from protecting public health and the environment. The costs of cleaning up littered tobacco products fall on taxpayers rather than the industry creating the problem. This costs China roughly $ 2.6 billion and India nearly $ 766 million each year. The cost for Brazil and Germany comes in at over USD 200 million (see table below for other estimates).


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