For decades we have known that cigarettes are toxic, for both people who smoke and those around them. What you may not know is just how toxic and dangerous cigarettes are to the environment.
Most alarming is that billions of trees are cut down every year to make cigarettes.1 2 3 4 5 In many countries, wood is burnt to cure the tobacco leafs that are used to make cigarettes and other tobacco products. In fact, it is estimated that one tree is burned for every 300 cigarettes made from tobacco grown in developing countries. 1 2 3 4 5
And how many more are cut down to make the packaging for cigarette cartons and packaging?
The destruction of these trees contributes to deforestation worldwide, thus increasing the concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 6
But that is not where the dangers end. Cigarette butts are the number one item picked up on California roadways. 7 8 9 10
These butts are non-biodegradable 9 10 11 and toxic, 9 11 12 13 14 meaning they remain in the environment and can leach toxic chemicals, including nicotine, formaldehyde, and arsenic, into water and soil for years. So not only does this litter tarnish the natural beauty of The Golden State and contribute to community blight, but it poses a serious risk to the health and safety of Californians and California wildlife.