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Cigarettes – Bad for the Environment, Bad For You

E-CigaratteEvery day, we do little things that can harm the environment. Whether it’s throwing out plastic bags without recycling them or leaving the heating on after you’ve gone out, it’s the little things that can make a big carbon footprint.

One thing that’s often overlooked at as harm to the environment is smoking.

Everyone knows smoking is bad for you. There are so many reasons to stop smoking just from the health risks alone.

Lung cancer is a much greater risk to those who smoke, as is mouth cancer. There’s also a high chance of contracting a cardiovascular disease; an affliction with causes arteries to harden. Depending on where in the body those arteries are hardening, smokers can expect to become more susceptible to heart, liver and kidney problems.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is usually a long drawn out disease, and is projected to be the fourth highest cause of death by the year 2030. It’s mainly contracted by smokers.

But it’s not just your body that’s suffering – it’s others, and the environment that’s taking a hit too.

Passive smoking

Even if you don’t smoke, being in the constant company of someone who does can highly increase your risk of developing the same diseases that smokers eventually suffer from.

When often in a smoky environment, such as if a partner smokes at home, non-smokers can develop breathing problems and absorb much of the same harmful chemicals. Also, that smell is hard to shake out of clothes.

Smoking when pregnant can be a huge risk to the baby; it can increase the chance of sudden infant death syndrome, asthma, lung infections and learning difficulties.

The Environment

The pollutants in smoke are a mixture of more than 4,000 chemicals. Around 500 of these are in a gas state, while the rest are particulate matter and make up the visual smoke.

Second hand smoke consists of 47 pollutants, according to this article, which are hazardous wastes when disposed of. 67 are known carcinogens.

In fact, according to, cigarette smoke produces 10 times more air pollution than diesel car exhausts.

Cigarette butts are dropped in their billions every day, and in large numbers can end up clogging drains and generally looking unsightly. A common misconception is that they biodegrade. They don’t.

Switching to electronic cigarettes if you’re not ready to quit smoking altogether bypasses all the pollutant qualities. Plus, it’s much better for you, and they are recyclable and rechargeable.

James Dunworth from Ecigarettedirect recently stated the following when talking about the advantages of the electronic cigarette compared to regular ones as far as the environment was concerned: “Research has shown that cigarette smoke causes 10 times more pollution than diesel fumes. In contrast to cigarettes, no combustion takes place in electronic cigarettes, and no smoke is produced – what is produced is vapour which is estimated to be around 99% safer than tobacco smoke.

Let’s make a better environment and a better you!

Image Credit: Jakemaheu at en.wikipedia

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