On this World No Tobacco Day, we’re taking a closer look at Tobacco and it’s impact on the environment. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco kills over 8 million people every year and destroys our environment,  further harming human health, through the cultivation, production, distribution, consumption, and post-consumer waste.

Tobacco products are the most littered item on the planet, containing more than 7000 toxic chemicals that leak into our environment. Roughly 4.5 trillion cigarette filters are found in our oceans, rivers, parks, soil, beaches and city sidewalks, annually. E-cigarettes are also causing a serious environmental threat, since the entire e-cigarette is non-biodegradable.  The majority are made to be disposable and their components—heavy metals, batteries, hard plastic, residual e-liquids—won’t degrade for hundreds to thousands of years. 

One way that people can help their health and save the planet, is by quitting tobacco and encouraging others to do so.  Call the NYS Quitline 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487). or visit nysmokefree.com for free cessation support. 

To learn more about tobacco industry’s impact on the environment, visit  World Health Organization and Truth Initiative.  For more information on the impact of e-cigs on the environment, visit Healthy UC Davis.