Get Healthy Carson City: Tobacco is a threat to our environment

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Each year the World Health Organization holds World No Tobacco Day on May 31. This year’s theme is “protect the environment.” This is a day to raise awareness among the public on the environmental impact of tobacco from cultivation, production, distribution, and waste. This may give tobacco users one extra reason to quit.
Currently tobacco use is the leading cause of disease, disability, death, and is known to harm nearly every organ of the body. Tobacco use contributes to more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States and more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. Tobacco does not only negatively impact the health of individuals, but it also endangers the environment.
Climate change is an important environmental issue which is caused by increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The worldwide tobacco industry contributes to carbon dioxide emissions. There is also around 8.6 million acres of land destroyed annually from growing tobacco. This deforestation for tobacco plantations promotes soil degradation which effects the lands capacity to support growth of any other crops or vegetation. The environmental impact of the tobacco industry adds unnecessary pressure to our planet’s resources and ecosystem.
The production of tobacco also uses more than 22 billion tons of water. The environmental impact of a single individual smoking over their lifetime is 1.4 million liters of water depletion. Along with the transportation and manufactures of cigarettes, their disposal uses more resources and leaves further waste. This is not only limited to cigarettes as single-use e-cigarette product waste is also becoming a problem.
In 2018, an estimated 2.7 million tons of consumer electronic waste, including e-cigarette waste ended-up in landfills or incinerators in the Unites States. E-cigarette-related waste is potentially a more serious threat to the environment because they contain metals, plastics, batteries, and toxic chemicals. E-cigarette manufactures do not provide guidance to consumers on how to dispose of used devices or pod/cartridges products and there is no receptacles or specific processes in place.
The World No Tobacco Day focuses on a world without tobacco and educates the public on the impact to the climate caused by the tobacco industry. Join us in participation in World No Tobacco Day on May 31.
For free help to quit, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or text “QUITNOW” to 333888 or go to For teens, go to or text “Start my Quit to 36072 or call 855-891-9989. For information go to,, or
Tobacco Prevention and Control Program at Carson City Health and Human Services is available to provide tobacco presentations to our youth, educators, and parents.
For additional resources and information about our department programs and services, check out our website at, “Like” us on Facebook at, follow us on Twitter @CCHealthEd or Instagram @gethealthycarsoncity, call us at 775-887-2190, or visit us at 900 E. Long St., in Carson City. 


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