Yes, you read that right. 7 million people die every year due to smoking cigarettes and the use of other tobacco products per the World Health Organization also known as WHO. Not only do cigarettes and tobacco use kill, they also are a severe damage to the environment and a leading source of individual litter across the world.
How Can Tobacco Use Decrease?
Many prevention tobacco agencies have announced that stronger measures were needed to reel in the use of tobacco among individuals. They are urging countries across the globe to ban smoking within work places and indoor public venues. They also are encouraging countries to decrease marketing campaigns and rise cigarette prices.
Per WHO chief Margaret Chan, she said in a statement that, “tobacco threatens us all, tobacco exacerbates poverty, reduces economic productivity, contributes to poor household food choices, and pollutes indoor air.”
On Wednesday, World No Tobacco Day takes place. WHO wants individuals to be aware of the annual death toll which increased to seven million from four million since the turn of the century. These stats make tobacco the globes biggest cause of avoidable deaths.
Affecting our Environment
From tobacco alone, WHO is expecting the death toll this century to be around one billion. Combining worldwide the households and governments, tobacco use is draining more than $1.4 trillion per WHO. Not only is tobacco affecting family budgets but it also is the main cause of deforestation which is the removal or clearing of land to grow tobacco on.
Growing tobacco on farming land is “polluting and a damaging process,” according to Oleg Chestnov of WHO. Fertilizers, pesticides and wood are among the popular demand for growing tobacco. WHO stated that to produce 300 cigarettes, one tree is needed. The waste from producing cigarettes contain over 7,000 toxic chemicals that then poison our environment. As mentioned earlier in this article, cigarettes and tobacco waste are the main cause of litter across the globe. Per WHO, two thirds of the 15 billion cigarettes bought, are then tossed on to the streets or in the public view.
One of WHO’s missions is to urge governments across the world to strengthen and control measures of tobacco use within their country. The suggestion of increasing tobacco taxes and prices is highly encouraged, but is not commonly used throughout the world, Chestnov notes.
If you can raise awareness to a loved one or the younger generation on the harmful causes and uses of tobacco, than please do so. Tobacco use is deadly and should not be taken lightly. Tobacco use can lead to more serious measures like alcohol or drug abuse. If you or a loved one has an addiction, please contact one of our professional counselors today.
By: Jennifer T.