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  • Writer's pictureNeil Hwang

The Reality of Tobacco and Cigarettes

Updated: Sep 11, 2023


When people think of pollution, people most likely think of greenhouse gas emissions. Citizens are getting tricked into believing that cigarettes and tobacco aren’t related to pollution at all. The tobacco industries are lying to society, and cigarettes are actually a big problem regarding pollution. The Big Tobacco industries filter cigarettes using microplastics, but in reality, the microplastics contaminate our soil and water. The industry doesn’t want people to realize that their products are a huge part of environmental destruction and human health dangers.


Tobacco industries make about six trillion cigarettes per year, and as a result, cigarettes are one of the most littered items on the planet. Microplastics are extremely small pieces of plastic particles that end up in many negative aspects of the environment. The plastic itself has a long time to decompose, and during that time, it can cause mass damage to the environment. Microplastics can have a toxic effect on fish and other marine life. Some of these are reducing the amount of food, delaying growth, causing abnormal behavior, and can cause oxidative damage. The chemicals are hazardous, and once these get into the human body, they can possibly lead to cancer, chronic inflammation, or other severe illnesses. Each tobacco filter is made with 15,000 strands of microplastic fibers. This is a lot for the environment because this isn’t the only reality it has to face. There is also global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, chemical usage, and deforestation.


Aside from microplastics, tobacco butts are also contained dangerous chemicals, such as arsenic and lead. Yet, the tobacco industries disregard the fact that it’s their products that endanger the life of our environment. Industries try to blame other environmental issues, but in reality, it is one of the most dangerous topics of environmental pollution. Also, tobacco affects air pollution topic as well. When an individual smokes, methane, carbon dioxide, and other poisonous chemicals are released into the air. These chemicals, combined with greenhouse gas pollutants constantly ruin the atmosphere and eventually, lead to our own demise.


So the cigarette industry has come up with a solution, or not really. They came up with e-cigarettes which are even more hazardous. It’s like how the car industry is getting big with electric vehicles, instead of gasoline-powered ones. Many of the electric cigarettes that are smoked are usually littered, and e-cigarettes aren’t biodegradable. Even e-cigarettes, the so-called solution that the smoking industry came up with, contain microplastics. The increased amount of microplastics travels through winds, storms, and water. Even everyday drinking water can contain small amounts of microplastics.


Cigarettes themselves are a horrendous choice to make. This is because the large amounts of microplastics exposed to the environment are affecting people’s health negatively, and even more, the environmental effects are worse.


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