Tobacco growing, manufacturing and use poison our water, soil, beaches and city streets with chemicals, toxic waste, cigarette butts, including microplastics, and e-cigarette waste. Don’t fall for the tobacco industry’s attempt to try and distract from its environmental harms by greenwashing their products through donations to sustainability initiatives and reporting on environmental “standards” they often set themselves. The tobacco industry is making profit by destroying the environment and needs to be held accountable for the environmental destruction and made to pay for the waste and damages, including to recover the cost of collecting these wastes. Every cigarette smoked or tobacco product used wastes precious resources that our existence depends on. Quit tobacco for your health and the health of our planet. Tobacco smoke contributes to higher air pollution levels and contains three kinds of greenhouse gases. Governments and policy makers should support tobacco farmers to switch to alternative, more sustainable livelihoods to reduce the environmental impact of tobacco growing, curing and manufacturing while continue to implement tobacco control measures. 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, in addition wood is burned for the curing of tobacco leaves after harvest. It takes approximately one entire tree, to make 300 cigarettes. Approximately 200,000 hectares of land is cleared annually for tobacco growing and curing. Tobacco farming accounts for about 5% of the total national deforestation, disproportionately affecting tobacco-growing regions of the world, including Southern Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America and the Caribbean.
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