Smoking kills- so stay far away from it! This phrase is used commonly to try to encourage individuals to stay away from smoking- and it isn’t just because it takes lives, but because it also kills the environment. It’s interesting to note that when individuals hear about the negative effects of smoking, they usually consider the dangers it poses to health. Most people neglect to consider the other crucial issue, which relates to how negatively it impacts the planet.
Cigarettes release harmful emissions into the atmosphere, as a result of both commercial cigarette manufacturing and smoking, which contributes heavily to air pollution. The equipment used to burn fossil fuels for energy causes greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere. Secondhand smoke, which is produced when someone else smokes and contributes to air pollution, contains unpleasant compounds such as carbon dioxide and methane. Though these chemicals do not directly kill smokers, they most definitely contribute to overall environmental degradation and pollution.
In addition to polluting the environment, cigarette butts cause soil and water contamination because the hazardous chemicals in the residues leach into the ground and waterways. These butts are one of the biggest concerns when it comes to littering as they are not discarded properly. The majority of the components in cigarette butts are not compostable and require many years to degrade. Therefore, when these chemicals are absorbed by the soil, it severely affects the fertility of the soil and often makes it unsuitable to use for farming and growing crops. This has a domino effect. The chemicals that leech into the soil do not simply remain there; animals, including livestock, tend to feed on the grass and vegetation that grows on the poisoned soil- causing them to get very ill or die.
Cigarette butts are typically found dispersed all over the ground, and they frequently make their way into rivers when carried by rainfall. This majorly contributes to the contamination of water- for both drinking and cleaning purposes, as well as significantly impacting the aquatic life. Fish and other aquatic life consume these butts, which can prove to be fatal for them. What is even more concerning is that the toxins found in cigarette butts poison the algae found at the bottom of the food chain. All sea organisms feed on these algae and therefore ingest the same chemicals, which are then consumed by humans when they eat fish and other seafood. Smoking causes a deadly chain of carrying poison from one organism to another- often having deadly effects in the end.
Additionally, smoking cigarettes also encourage deforestation. Tobacco is a significant component in the production of cigarettes, and the majority of it is actually grown in tropical rainforests. As a result, the growing demand for cigarettes has significantly aided in the destruction of forests in the places where it grows. Quite a few of these locations were previously covered by extremely dense forests and locations where tobacco farming first started in limited areas are now widely occupying big fields. Another very dangerous consequence of improper disposal of cigarette butts is smoking-related fires. Numerous residences and buildings burn down each year as a result of carelessly thrown cigarette butts- not to mention the role played by these butts in regard to forest fires.
The more one thinks about it, the easier it is to understand how dangerous and deadly the effects of smoking truly are. It is shocking to see how severe the consequences of smoking cigarettes can be; yet, however, individuals continue to smoke a packet or two on a daily basis. There is only one positive when someone talks about the negative impacts of smoking- there is an ecofriendly alternative for it.
Vaping is a relatively recent trend, looking to end smoking for good in an ecofriendly manner. Whether individuals use small vape devices or large ones, they are guaranteed to get their daily dose of nicotine with no dangerous chemicals being let into the atmosphere; not only making it safer for individuals but for the planet as a whole. Causing no air pollution, soil and water contamination, or large forest fires, individuals can take puffs guilt-free, knowing that they are not causing any harm to the planet or to those around them.