May 31, 2022

News

7 reasons to quit smoking to protect the environment!

Today is World No-Tobacco Day! Find out how you can protect the environment by choosing to quit smoking!

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World No-Tobacco Day 2022 takes place today, 31 May. As it has since 1988, the World Health Organisation has chosen a theme for this special day, and this year it is environmental protection that is highlighted. We wanted to take this opportunity to give you 7 good reasons to quit smoking to protect our environment from the ravages of the tobacco industry.

Reason 1: Protect the oceans by preventing cigarette butts from ending up in them

According to the WHO, since the 1980s, cigarette butts have accounted for 30-40% of the waste collected each year from every ocean and urban clean-up operation. This percentage makes cigarette butts the main pollutant present in our seas and oceans.

Reason 2: Quit smoking to reduce waste

The tobacco industry alone creates 2 million tonnes of solid waste every year. According to one study, this huge amount is caused by the constant waste of cigarette packets, as well as the plastic packaging that surrounds it.

Reason 3: Protect groundwater from cigarette butt chemicals

Let's not only protect our health, but also the ecology by choosing to stop smoking! Groundwater is also heavily impacted by smoking. According to a study conducted by researchers at University of San Diego, cigarette butts will degrade over a period of at least 10 years, where more than 7,000 chemical components contained in the butts will leach into the soil and into groundwater. Out of these 7000 components, at least 50 are cancerous to Man.

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Reason 4: Reduce your carbon footprint by not emitting toxic substances into the air

Every year, nearly 4,000 billion cigarettes are smoked worldwide. These billions of cigarettes smoked are responsible for 0.2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, it is also important to remember that pollution due to fine particle emissions unfortunately causes 7 million premature deaths every year.

Reason 5: Reduce micro plastic emissions from cigarette butts into the atmosphere

According to the United Nations, the cigarette butts of the 6 trillion cigarettes produced each year are mainly composed of cellulose acetate, which is what microplastics contain.

When a cigarette is consumed, these microplastic particles are dispersed into the environment, an issue that can become even worse if the cigarette butt is thrown on the ground and not in a waste bin. The decomposition process which happens due to light and air exposure will lead to releasing microplastics into our various ecosystems, which have already been at risk for many years.

Reason 6: Protecting wildlife from tobacco pollution

Tobacco consumption affects our health, but also those of marine and terrestrial wildlife. This article shows the impact of a single cigarette butt thrown into the sea. In the space of just 96 hours, this cigarette butt will have released enough toxic substances to kill just one fish.

Cigarette butts are a primary source of ocean and sea pollution and that 30 to 40% of waste collected at sea is cigarette butts, cigarette butts will be responsible for the death of a large number of underwater sea life.

As far as terrestrial wildlife is concerned, due to the lack of food, more and more animals (mainly birds) will find themselves feeding off of cigarette butts. Ingesting cigarette butts will create a satiety effect (hunger decrease) that will soon lead to their disappearance.

Reason 7: Eliminate cigarette butts that litter our grounds

According to researchers at University of San Diego, cigarette butts are the most common type of waste in the world. They are also the most common type of waste on our soil, with an estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts thrown on the ground each year.

According to the Tobacco Atlas, this will generate 1.69 billion tonnes of toxic waste that will be spread on our land instead of being properly recycled if it had been thrown in the bin.

We've convinced you, but you're not sure you can quit on your own? First of all, congratulations on your decision! You are already contributing to the protection of your health but also to the protection of our environment! A big thank you from all of us! We would also like to tell you that we are here for you!

We recommend you to Kwit and don't hesitate to join our support group on Facebook!

For more advice follow us on Instagram and Tiktok.

woman holding a leaf in her hand

Related article

Impact of tobacco on ecology

Though we generally tend to forget it, the tobacco industry doesn’t only have a negative impact on the health of smokers and their relatives. Actually, the environment as a whole is unfortunately a collateral victim of tobacco.

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