We tend to usually focus on the human impact that smoking has. For example, every 10 minutes someone tragically dies from a smoking related causes.
Tobacco’s death toll is no secret, but what is often overlooked is the environmental impact smoking has. Vaping not only has the potential to save millions of lives and improve quality of health, but it could also could greatly impact the environments health as well.
1. Vaping can greatly reduce the amount of waste in the world:
Cigarettes are by volume the single most littered item in the world. 5.6 trillion cigarettes are smoked annually and roughly 63% of them are littered. 63% = 3.28 trillion cigarette butts per year!
38% of the total waste collected from environmental pick up is cigarette litter. Infact by weight, we add 1.69 billion lbs of cigarette waste per year. Vape devices on the other hand are made of metal, and last for years and can be recycled.
It is estimate annual clean up costs are up to $11 billion per year. The city of San Francisco for example spends $11 million a year in tax payer funds just for cigarette litter removal.
2. Vaping can greatly improve the health of our oceans:
32% of all litter removed from the coastlines are cigarette butts, in addition to 2% accounting for cigar tips. These butts are not biodegradable and are made of cellulose acetate which take years to decompose. But the real danger is the amount of harmful toxins and chemicals that are leaked into our oceans and fresh water by cigarette litter. Fish, and other wild life are exposed to these harmful chemicals and die.
Don`t care about fish? Well a study also found that a puppy can die from ingested just two cigarette butts.
3.Vaping can help reduce global warming:
600 million tree`s are cut down annually just for the production of tobacco. That doesn`t even account for the amount of tree`s that are cut to produce the wrapping papers, and packaging. In countries like South Korea and Uruguay tobacco farming accounts for 40% of its annual deforestation.
Vaping could make an exponential dent in the amount of tree`s we cut down for cigarette production. Deforestation increases carbon dioxide emissions, tobacco production accounts for 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions every year.
Smoking itself also releases a lot of carbon dioxide. 16 million metric tons are released into the atmosphere every year in the u.s. alone. To put that in perspective, if every smoker quit it would be the equivalent of getting 4 million cars worth of pollution off the road.
4.Vaping could help reduce world hunger:
Trees aside, tobacco farming uses up a lot of land, 5.3 million hectares to be exact.
Thats 5.3 million hectacres could feed rough 10-20 million people. To add a little context to that number, about 3 million children die from starvation every year.
Ironically, 6 of the top 10 tobacco producing countries have impoverished and undernourished populations. Vaping also costs much less than smoking (unless you collect mods). Its estimated just an additional 3.2 billion per year could help alleviate hunger among the 66 million school aged children in the world.
On a larger scale, smoking carries a 200 billion dollar a year burden due to the medical costs resulting from smoking. The UN estimates it would cost an additional $30 billion a year to completely eradicate world hunger amongst the 700 million + people who are currently impoverished.