The negative health impacts of tobacco are already well-known, but many people are unaware of the harmful effects of these products on the environment. Institutional bodies like the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization are even partnering up to raise awareness of the tobacco industry’s environmental impact. UNEP points out that the tobacco industry is a major player in the triple planetary climate change crisis, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste.
Tobacco products are already harmful to humans, and their continued usage can further harm wildlife and the environment. As such, it’s important to increase people’s knowledge about the environmental impacts of tobacco products.
How Tobacco Usage Affects the Environment
Tobacco directly harms consumers by releasing harmful substances into the lungs and other organs of the body. However, the production, smoke emissions, and waste of tobacco products indirectly affect humans’ health by damaging the environment.
In fact, Treehugger states that the tobacco industry already produces a lifecycle of harm to the environment, starting at the production level. Treehugger explains that tobacco industries are responsible for 5% of deforestation worldwide and about 30% of deforestation in tobacco-growing countries because they prefer to plant on virgin land. Many companies in the industry also cut down trees to use wood as fuel to “flue cure” tobacco leaves and make matches for cigarettes. Tobacco plants are also one of the top ten crops that rely on toxic pesticides and fertilizers, which can pollute the environment and harm fish and other wildlife.
The environmental impact of tobacco doesn’t stop in the production process. Tobacco smoke contributes to air pollution by releasing toxic emissions, greenhouse gases, as well as cancer-causing chemicals. The toxic emissions and greenhouse gases from these products can significant contribute to climate change and the air pollution in various areas. Unfortunately, our article entitled ‘Researchers Say Cancer Discovery Should Serve as A “Wake-Up Call” About Air Pollution’ reveals that outdoor air pollution is already rising to levels that are already dangerous to human health. The chemicals from tobacco products can further worsen the state of outdoor air pollution, especially if people continue to emit smoke from these products.
The Importance of Smoking Cessation
The health and environmental risks of tobacco can be minimized by increasing people’s access to tobacco-free, smoking cessation products.
The good news is that consumers already have a high demand for tobacco-free products. In fact, the ZYN nicotine pouches listed on Prilla were created to meet the demands of the growing market of people who don’t want to use cigarettes, snus, and other products with tobacco content. These products allow people to enjoy nicotine without getting exposed to tobacco, thus ensuring that consumers won’t get the usual flavor and health side effects of tobacco. On top of that, users don’t need to emit any harmful smoke while using the product, which can reduce its carbon footprint.
Aside from nicotine pouches, plenty of consumers can also use nicotine lozenges to reduce the health and environmental impact of tobacco products. Pharmacy Times points out that nicotine lozenges like Nicorette can be used for smoking cessation and for the prevention of smoking-related illnesses like osteoporosis, bone fracture, and lung cancer. These FDA-approved nicotine replacement products are also available over the counter so that people have increased access to products that can reduce tobacco use. Nicotine lozenges are also just dissolved in the mouth, so people won’t have to throw any waste after usage.
Tobacco creates various environmental impacts, starting from the production process up to the consumption of the product. As such, it’s important to increase people’s awareness about tobacco and to boost the accessibility of nicotine cessation products.