Issues Environment

Our World Is Being Burned by Tobacco

It’s time to talk about it

Everyone knows about the harms tobacco inflicts on health. But the tobacco industry is downplaying another serious threat: its destruction of the environment—just to keep people addicted to tobacco.

The tobacco industry is one of the world’s worst polluters. Cigarettes are the most pervasive single-use plastic product on Earth.

Global Pollution. 4.5 trillion cigarettes are discarded per year worldwide, making them the most littered item on Earth and the most common item of litter on beaches.

Millions of cigarette butts end up in waterways where they contaminate water and harm marine life.

Water Supply. Every year over 22 billion tonnes of water (enough to fill about 8.8 million Olympic-sized swimming pools) are used to grow tobacco, often in countries where the water supply is already stressed.

And now, the industry’s electronic products are making the problem worse. These devices are adding more metals, plastics and batteries to the world’s waste.

Water poisoning. E-cigarette waste is dangerous, contaminating waterways and soil and endangering wildlife with plastic, nicotine salts, heavy metals, lead, mercury and flammable lithium-ion batteries.

The industry tries to put the blame on consumers for behaving irresponsibly. But the problem starts with the creation of toxic products. Deforestation. Land degradation. Poisonous chemicals. Carbon emissions. Water pollution. Every step of tobacco’s toxic life cycle is causing harm.

We can do something about it. We can hold the tobacco industry accountable and make it pay for the environmental harms it causes. Join us, a global tobacco industry watchdog, in the fight to save the environment from the tobacco industry.

Sign up for STOP’s newsletter for the latest developments on the tobacco industry, including its impact on the environment and sustainable development.


STOP Newsletter