We all know that smoking is bad for us. Ageing skin, yellow teeth, respiratory problems and cancer. But did you know that tobacco plantations also contribute to deforestation? It’s a lose-lose situation.
How to make the change
The simple answer is quit smoking. But with around 85% of quitters relapsing, most within a week, it isn’t that easy. Look for a local support group or helpline and ask a friend to help you through the rough times. There are several methods for giving up, so it’s a case of finding the one that works for you. Some methods involve nicotine replacements, and while this cuts out the health issues caused by smoking, it doesn’t tackle the environmental side as nicotine is derived from tobacco plants.
Why make the change?
An estimated 200,000 hectares of forest and woodland are cut down each year for tobacco farming. Brazil alone uses 60 million trees per year for curing, packaging and rolling cigarettes. Crops are sprayed with pesticides that cause problems to farmers’ health, as well as air and water pollution. The litter caused by non-biodegradable cigarette butts is also immense, with about 4.5 trillion littered worldwide each year.
Be a climate ninja
There are organic cigarettes available in some countries, so smoke a lot of those, get lung cancer and die. Less humans means less resources needed. No, don’t do that! But do ditch that nicotine habit already. And then help spread the word about the environmental impact of tobacco.
Ps. This goes for snus (snuff) and e-cigarettes as well. And if you really don’t want to quit that snuff, there are organic options.