Smokers litter 4.5t cigarettes yearly, globally – Body
AN anti-tobacco organisation in Ireland, STOP, yesterday said that the world’s 1.3 billion smokers improperly dispose off about 4.5 trillion cigarettes each year.
Explaining that this makes cigarette butts the most littered item on the planet, STOP said tobacco is not only grown on deforested lands but its production degrades soil and pollutes air, land and water.
The body also added that flood is “only a portion of the environmental harm caused by the tobacco industry” while billions of trees are chopped down each year to make cigarettes, accounting for five per cent of global deforestation.
This, it stressed, leads to cigarette butts making up around 20 per cent of debris gathered during ocean clean-ups, even when chemicals leaching from a cigarette butt could be toxic enough to kill 50 per cent of the saltwater and freshwater fish exposed for 96 hours, going by experiments cited by STOP that saw butts soaked for 24 hours in one litre of water.
Warning that waste from vapping devices could be “a more serious environmental threat than cigarettes as it “contains metal, circuitry, single-use plastic cartridges, batteries and toxic chemicals in e-liquids,” the damage is likely to get worse as vapping, or smoking e-cigarettes becomes more popular.
It will be recalled that World Health Organisation (WHO) said that, apart from damaging environment, smoking kills around eight million people a year worldwide and incurs significant healthcare costs.
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