How Smoking Affects our Environment

laluls212 By laluls212, 10th Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/51x45y9z/
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Public Health

It is a common belief among cigarette smokers that they are only hurting themselves. In fact they are not only hurting themselves, but also the people who love them and the environment. These days everyone knows what smoking cigarettes does to our bodies, but the knowledge of what smoking does to the Earth is not as common. There are some things that every smoker who has any concern for environmental issues should know.

Smoking and Environment

It is fairly obvious that smoking pollutes the air and quite often the ground. However, it is not always obvious how or how much smoking pollutes. Cigarettes contain over 4000 chemicals which are exhaled and released into the air and the atmosphere. Approximately 30% of North Americans are smokers, and the percentage goes much higher in developing countries, which means there is a massive amount of pollution being released into the air every day. Trees are often compared to the lungs in our bodies because they perform basically the same functions as our lungs do on a global scale. With all of the pollutants that the trees filter out for us already it seems almost crazy to add more to the air that doesn’t need to be added. We need to breathe, but no one needs to smoke.

The pollution caused by cigarettes does not stop in our bodies or the air; it also affects the land we live on and the water that we drink. Millions of cigarette butts are discarded onto the ground every day. Every year in California the state has a statewide cleanup and cigarette butts account for almost half of the waste that is collected. These are only the ones that are picked up in one state and millions more are never picked up. They end up in the rivers and lakes where fish and animals eat them by mistake and quite often die from it. The rest are left on the ground to decompose which will take an average of 25 years while all of the chemicals and additives leach into the ground and pollute the soil and the plants. If you are going to smoke please consider this information before your throw your cigarette butts on the ground. It looks unattractive, it is a major fire hazard in dry weather, and it is extremely harmful to the environment.

Probably the most impacting aspect of cigarettes is actually producing them. There is the land used to grow the crops all over the world that could be put to better use by planting more trees or food for starving children in third world countries. These crops are also often sprayed with a lot of harmful pesticides and chemicals because tobacco is a very fragile plant and is likely to pick up disease. It also takes a lot of trees to produce and package cigarettes. Cigarette manufacturing uses four miles of paper an hour just for rolling and packaging cigarettes. One tree is wasted for every three hundred cigarettes produced. Those trees could be filtering out the pollutants already in the air instead of being chopped down for the cause of adding new ones. There is still the energy and water wasted in manufacturing cigarettes that needs to be considered and with soil depletion and chemical wastage added on top of that it becomes clear that manufacturing cigarettes has an enormous strain on the environment.

The tobacco industry is quite unwilling to use better technology to reduce the impact they are having on the environment because it would take up too much of their billions of dollars in profit every year. They are often trying to have more trees planted, but since they use trees to dry the tobacco and for rolling and packaging it is probably not concern for the environment, but concern for losing their wood sources that encourage them to do this. They do not care about polluting our bodies so it seems unlikely that they would think twice about polluting our environment. The only way to stop them from harming the environment is to stop buying their products. Quitting smoking is hard, but it can be done and it’s not only about the harm smokers are doing to their own bodies, it’s also about the harm they are doing to the earth and the pain that they are causing their friends and families.

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Comments

author avatar drelayaraja
10th Jul 2010 (#)

Rightly said.

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author avatar Retired
24th Jul 2010 (#)

I quit smoking cold turkey about a year ago I wish I could say the same for my husband. Now that I do not smoke I can not stand the smell uggg. hank you for this article.

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author avatar Retired
25th Aug 2010 (#)

Great article.

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author avatar Abel
30th Aug 2010 (#)

Good article about smoking. Smokers not only giving trouble to their lives but also giving troubles to their loved ones and the peoples around them. I really want to give a message to the smokers that "quit smoking and save life of yourself and your loved ones".
http://www.globalwarming360.net/human-activities-affecting-environment-adversely.html

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author avatar debdebbdebby
5th Jan 2011 (#)

i am more of a personal quit smoking freak on what it does to your bodies and never looked to it on what it does to the enviorment.. 4 year for me cold turkey .. 3 for my hubby
i will eventually write a mile for people to quit and how...it can be done.. it's a shame people do not take seriously what it does to thier bodies let alone their planet earth and their babies ..glad to know these facts now i have a refernce for my own articles to fall back on...this is truly an appreciated article..

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author avatar debdebbdebby
5th Jan 2011 (#)

ITS DEB
☻/ This is deb, copy paste her on
/▌ every comment you see so she ...can SAY TO HER friends
/ \ all over Facebook... HELLO....

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author avatar laluls212
6th Jan 2011 (#)

Thank you..

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author avatar Retired
20th Jan 2011 (#)

What a great piece of work.

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author avatar laluls212
21st Jan 2011 (#)

Thnks Martin..

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author avatar Joanne
2nd May 2011 (#)

i love this article! it gave great info and a very good description about how smoking affects the enviroment. Its so important that when people learn this they shouldnt smoke and they'll know what happens if they do!! :)

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author avatar Lila Bangsawan
5th Jun 2011 (#)

My husband is a smoker, but it's very difficult to change his habit although he knows the effect for himself and his lovely family. Thanks God, he always smokes outside. But still, I worry with his health. I'll give this article to him and hopefully it will change him. Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar Lila Bangsawan
5th Jun 2011 (#)

My husband is a smoker and he knows the effects for his own health and his environment. It's very difficult to change his habit. Thanks God, he always smokes outside. But still, he will get the effect of it. Thanks for sharing, laluls212

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author avatar laluls212
5th Jun 2011 (#)

Thank you Lila.. Hope your husband quits smoking.. Will pray for you guys.. :-)

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author avatar PSRemeshChandra
26th Jun 2011 (#)

After going through this excellent article on smoking, I am hesitant to add my opinion which is not on the points raised in the article which is excellent in every way, but on the question of whether tobacco smoking is as bad as is nowadays advertised, since it is a very old ritual and social custom of mankind continuing through centuries. It is not that I am saying it is time somebody wrote an Ode On Smoking, but I would like to add a few lines with dear Laluls212's permission of course.

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author avatar laluls212
29th Jun 2011 (#)

Ya.. Sure Remesh.. :-)

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