World No Tobacco Day 2022: Tobacco’s Threat to Our Environment

WHO and public health champions worldwide are marking World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) this year by focusing on how tobacco threatens the environment we live in.

The 2022 global campaign aims to raise public awareness about the environmental impact of the entire tobacco cycle, from its cultivation, production, and distribution to the toxic waste it generates. The campaign will also aim to expose the tobacco industry’s effort to greenwash its reputation and make its products more appealing by marketing them as environmentally friendly.

Source: WHO

The harmful impact of the tobacco industry on the environment is vast and growing, adding unnecessary pressure to our planet’s already scarce resources and fragile ecosystems.

Tobacco kills over 8 million people every year and destroys our environment, further harming human health through the cultivation, production, distribution, consumption, and post-consumer waste.

Tobacco Use Damaging at Every Stage

The tobacco life cycle is an overwhelmingly polluting and damaging process from start to finish. Air pollution caused by smoking springs to mind, but damage occurs across the entire supply chain and is much more complex.

  • Across the globe, around 3.5 million hectares of land are destroyed to grow tobacco each year. Growing tobacco also contributes to the deforestation of 200 000 hectares a year and soil degradation.
  • Tobacco production depletes the planet of water, fossil fuel, and metal resources.
  • Globalization of the tobacco supply chain and sales means the tobacco industry relies heavily on resource-intensive modes of transport.
  • 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are not disposed of properly every year globally, generating 1.69 billion pounds of toxic waste and releasing thousands of chemicals into the air, water and soil.
Source: WHO

Lifestyle Changes Recommended for Preventing Cancer

Tobacco results in severe cardiovascular and respiratory medical conditions and is also the leading cause of various types of cancer like that of the lung, larynx, oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, bladder, stomach, liver, cervix, kidney, and acute myeloid leukemia.

• Say no to tobacco and alcohol consumption – Excess alcohol or tobacco consumption can lead to various health concerns developing into fatal problems like cancer-related diseases. Therefore, quitting smoking and alcohol can increase the body’s capacity and immunity to fight back infections.

• Be physically active – Physical exercises in our everyday routine can help us maintain proper body weight. Performing light yoga, Zumba, or cycling can help an individual to remain physically fit and keep the health implications at bay.

• Consume a healthy diet – Eating right and drinking sufficient water can maintain a healthy and clean body. Our platter must be full of essential nutrients and vitamins that our body needs. Iron or calcium supplements intake is also recommended after consulting with an expert. Besides, drinking sufficient water hydrates our body and helps digestion, normalizes body temperature, and flushes the unwanted bacteria from our bladder.

• Sleep well – Experts often suggest that less than 6 hours of sleep may raise cancer risk in any individual. Sleeping right is essential as it may avoid the risk of being drowsy, attaining health problems like diabetes, insomnia, ad heart-related ailments. A good night’s sleep reduces the risk of early death and maintains blood pressure.

Tobacco can be addictive due to the nicotine content, making quitting smoking a long and challenging journey. The harmful effects of smoking have been addressed over the last few years in our country, and there are now smoking cessation programs in place with specially designed plans for smokers.

Stronger Policies Needed

Consumers have become more environmentally conscious, choosing more sustainable products. Tobacco corporations, among others, have made environmental sustainability an integral pillar of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies and adopted several greenwashing practices. These include beach clean-ups and marketing new products as eco-friendly to divert public attention away from their own environmentally damaging actions.

The WNTD 2022 campaign calls on governments and policy-makers to step up legislation, including implementing and strengthening existing schemes to make producers responsible for the environmental and economic costs of dealing with tobacco waste products. WHO also recommends that countries entirely ban tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship, including advertising CSR programs, in accordance with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

What is Earth5R’s Home Equals Planet Project?

Home Equals Planet is an initiative comprising 15 tangible actions that citizens take on an individual level. These are a step toward a sustainable planet and a healthier lifestyle. The actions promote simple actions like eating home-cooked food, segregating waste, spending time in nature, and so on.

Home Equals Planet: 15 Actions to Change the World

The 15 actions are associated with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and aim to create a better future by 2030. Home Equals Planet covers areas like Waste Management, Health, creating a Circular Economy, etc.

Home Equals Planet: The 5th Global Entreps Awards and 5Gcitizens International Congress (

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Source: WHO, IndiaTVNews

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