23.1 C
Abuja

Tobacco industry kills over eight million people yearly – WHO

Advertisement

Related

Advertisement
Advertisement

THE World Health Organization (WHO) has said the tobacco industry is responsible for the death of eight million people yearly.

In addition to the human fatalities, the tobacco industry claims 600 million trees, 200,000 hectares of land, 22 billion tonnes of water and 84 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. 

In a statement to commemorate this year’s World No Tobacco Day, the agency called on nations to make the industry more accountable for the destruction it is causing.


READ ALSO:

World No Tobacco Day: FG urged to raise taxes to discourage smoking

Reports accuse British American Tobacco of bribing African leaders, others to undermine public health

Group says Nigeria’s weak tobacco regulations, poor enforcement exploited by industry players

- Advertisement -

Tobacco Control Regulations: ERA demands ban on cigarette sales to minors  


The WHO report “Tobacco: Poisoning our planet” noted that the industry’s carbon footprint from production, processing and transporting tobacco is equivalent to one-fifth of the carbon dioxide produced by the commercial airline industry each year, further contributing to global warming. 

Most tobacco is grown in low-and-middle-income countries, where water and farmland are often desperately needed to produce food for the region. Instead, they are being used to grow deadly tobacco plants while more and more land is being cleared of forests, WHO stated.

Director of Health Promotion at the agency, Ruediger Krech, a doctor, said, “Tobacco products are the most littered item on the planet, containing over 7,000 toxic chemicals, which leech into our environment when discarded. Roughly 4.5 trillion cigarette filters pollute our oceans, rivers, city sidewalks, parks, soil and beaches every year.”

WHO noted that products like cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes also add to the build-up of plastic pollution. 

It said cigarette filters contained microplastics and made up the second-highest form of plastic pollution worldwide.

“Despite tobacco industry marketing, there is no evidence that filters have any proven health benefits. WHO calls on policy-makers to treat cigarette filters as what they are, single-use plastics, and consider banning cigarette filters to protect public health and the environment.”

- Advertisement -

According to the WHO, the costs of cleaning up littered tobacco products fall on taxpayers rather than the industry creating the problem. 

Cleaning up littered tobacco products costs China roughly US$ 2.6 billion and India around US$ 766 million. The cost for Brazil and Germany comes in at over US$ 200 million.

The agency said countries like France and Spain and cities like San Francisco and California in the USA had taken a stand. “Following the Polluter Pays Principle, they have successfully implemented “extended producer responsibility legislation”, which makes the tobacco industry responsible for clearing up the pollution it creates.

“WHO urges countries and cities to follow this example and give support to tobacco farmers to switch to sustainable crops, implement strong tobacco taxes (that could also include an environmental tax), and offer support services to help people quit tobacco.”

On Monday, The ICIR reported how a coalition of civil society organizations urged the Nigerian government to increase taxes on tobacco products to discourage smoking in the country.

Author profile

Support the ICIR

We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

[molongui_author_box]

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

Advertisement

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Support the ICIR

We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

Advertisement

Recent

Buhari to confer national honours on Chimamanda Adichie, 436 others

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari will confer the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) national honour...

Nigeria will be safer before end of Buhari’s tenure – chief of staff

IBRAHIM Gambari, chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, has promised that Nigeria would...

Police arrest two for illegal possession of firearms in Lagos

THE Lagos State Police Command has arrested two persons for illegal possession of firearms...

El-Rufai condemns lynching of herders in Kaduna

KADUNA State governor Nasir El-Rufai has condemned the murder of two persons by a...

NDLEA arrests ex-footballer at Lagos airport for cocaine trafficking

THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says its operatives have arrested an ex-footballer,...
Advertisement

Most Read

Advertisement

Subscribe to our newsletter

Advertisement