Home / Science / News /  World No Tobacco Day: Here's how tobacco industry is killing the planet. 5-point

On the annual World no Tobacco Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report "Tobacco: poisoning our planet" that looks at the devastating impact of the industry on the planet. According to the UN health agency, the tobacco industry is a far greater threat than many realize as it is one of the world's biggest polluters. In its report, the WHO called for the tobacco industry to be held to account and foot the bill for the cleanup. The WHO said that tobacco is killing more than 80 lakh people every year around the world. China, Brazil, and India are the largest tobacco leaf growers, with China accounting for 3.2 million metric tonnes

Here's how tobacco is detrimental to both humans and the environment:

1. Tobacco industry is responsible for the loss of some 600 million trees each year. Tobacco farming also accounts for about 5% of global deforestation and drives the depletion of precious water resources.

2. Tobacco growing and production uses 200,000 hectares of land and 22 billion tonnes of water annually.

3. Tobacco accounts for a significant share of global greenhouse gas emissions -- with the equivalent of one-fifth of the global airline industry's carbon footprint.

4. Products like cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and e-cigarettes also contribute significantly to the global build-up of plastic pollution, WHO warned.

5. Cigarette butts are by far the largest single type of litter by count. Cigarette filters contain microplastics -- the tiny fragments that have been detected in every ocean and even at the bottom of the world's deepest trench -- and make up the second-highest form of plastic pollution worldwide.

WHO has urged policymakers worldwide to treat cigarette filters as single-use plastics and to consider banning them.

It also decried that taxpayers around the world had been covering the towering costs of cleaning up the tobacco industry's mess.

Each year, China for instance dishes out around $2.6 billion and India around $766 million, while Brazil and Germany pay some $200 million each to clean up littered tobacco products, the UN agency said.

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