We all know that smoking is harmful to the human body. We’re heavily warned against the effects; not only being taught of the hazards from an early age, cigarette boxes are now covered in cautionary images warning of any adverse effects that a consumer might incur. But a lesser known effect, and what many of us may have never even given a second thought to, is the major effects that smoking is having on the world around us.
From the sky down to the ground and sea, the production of cigarettes and second hand smoke are having detrimental effects on the environment. Although many of us are unaware of the process of how a cigarette came to be or the effects after it has gone – the environment is feeling the consequences.
With astonishing levels of land flattened for the growth of tobacco, chemicals must then be spread on this land, blazing furnaces are heated to cure the tobacco and huge volumes of the manufactured cigarettes are then shipped worldwide; causing colossal environmental effects before the cigarette has even been consumed.
Due to the huge scale of cigarette production, if these issues are not tackled now, devastating long term repercussions will ensue – including, but not limited to deforestation, desertification and water pollution.
After production, you might think the effects from the consumption of a cigarette are confined to the smoker themselves and those in their immediate surroundings, but this is not true. Not only do methane and carbon dioxide fill the atmosphere, but did you know that just one cigarette butt is enough to kill a fish living in a 1 liter container of water? Scary. And when approximately 3,216,991 cigarettes or cigarette butts were collected from beaches and inland waterways in 2009, you can see just how destructive smoking can be under the sea.