Friday, May 6, 2011

Environmental Hazards of tobacco

There are many personal reasons to become smokefree such as better health, and saving money, but quitting is also good for the environment.
Cigarette butts are the number one trash item collected on our beaches with over one million butts collected in the United States alone. Worldwide over 4 trillion butts are smoked each year. Each butt is made of about 12,000 plastic fibers which take 12 to 15 years to break down. In the meantime, the excess tobacco left on the butt, containing nicotine, heavy metals and other harmful chemicals are leached into our water systems which is harmful for aquatic life. Deforestation
Tobacco consumption also contributes to world deforestation. One out of every eight trees felled each year is used to cure tobacco. In South Korea and Uruguary, 40% of the annual deforestation is tobacco related. In Malawi, only 3% of the farmers grow tobacco yet nearly 80% of the trees are used to cure tobacco. If all farmers world wide were to stop growing tobacco and switch to food crops, this would feed almost half of the worlds 28 million undernourished people.

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