- Increasing tobacco taxes by 10 percent can reduce tobacco consumption by four percent in high-income countries and eight percent in low to middle-income countries. One study estimates that tripling cigarette taxes would prevent 200 million deaths this century.
- Banning tobacco advertising, promotions, and sponsorships can lead to a decrease in tobacco consumption by an average of about 7 percent, WHO says.
- Using graphic picture warning labels and advertisements -- only 30 countries meet "best practices" for picture warning labels.
- Covering the costs of counseling and medication and through national comprehensive cessation services -- only 21 countries offer this.
- Collecting data on tobacco use to implement the most effective policies.
- Protecting people from second-hand smoke with smoke-free laws.
Can the world prevent 8 million people from dying of smoking each year?
— By Tyler Falk on January 7, 2014, 2:37 PM PST
Being a smart, planet-friendly pub and all, I hoped you would include info about the environmental and social damage that the world's smoking addiction causes the planet? Here's a bit:
- The whole life cycle of a cigarette butt is harmful to the environment. From the deforestation that happens in order to clear land for tobacco plants and supply wood for curing (drying) their leaves (see below), to the millions of pounds of toxic chemicals released every year by tobacco product manufacturing facilities, to the fires that are caused by cigarette smoking (smoking is the leading cause of fires globally).
- It takes about the equivalent number of trees as the Amazon Rain Forest every 6 months to create the paper and curing wood to support 43-million cigarette smokers in the US.
- Tobacco cultivation is a leading global cause of deforestation and degradation of the environment. (another source) It requires heavy doses of pesticides which are applied at great health risk to the farm workers (pesticide lawsuit, green tobacco illness), many of whom are children, some of whom are officially child slave labor.
- Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the US. Contrary to popular belief, they are not what we typically think of as easily biodegradable. The 'cotton' interior is not cotton, but is made of cellulose acetate (a plastic) that takes up to 9 months to biodegrade under prime conditions. Tossed on a street or beach are not considered prime conditions; these butts can take years to biodegrade.
- Cigarette butts are created to trap a variety of highly toxic and some carcinogenic chemicals, such as nicotine, other pesticide residues (nicotine is also a pesticide), heavy metals, arsenic, cyanide, formaldehyde, polonium 210, etc . When littered, these chemicals leach into the soil and water. Preliminary studies show that they have a highly toxic effect on aquatic ecosystems and soil, and the animals that rely on them.
- Studies in Italy and University of Washington (USA) have shown the air pollution (particulate based) emitted by burning cigarettes is 10 times greater than from diesel car exhaust (2004), and, a burning cigarette puts off higher concentrations of CO2 than most cars (filtered & unfiltered at 95% confidence level), respectively.
And....we are just getting started.... (sounds like a separate news story to me!)
Thanks for all you do....
That is totally the wrong attitude towards smoking. Cigarettes (without filters) should be free for everyone who wants them. The sooner they cough their lungs out the better. There is obviously something wrong with a person who wants to inhale harmful smoke, and free cigarettes is the perfect solution to this age old problem.
Part of the problem is the portrayal of cigarettes in movies and television. So often it has nothing to do with the story whatsoever, even in period dramas. I think it gives actors something to do while on screen, but that's about it. It's not obvious glorification of smoking, but people imitate observed behaviors. And people all over the world, from all socio-economic levels, watch these things.
Cheese and Rice, just ban the things if you don't want people to have vices.
Don't pretend we're a free nation and then tax the hell out of something to prevent people from doing it. You may be adhering to the letter of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, but not the spirit.
I have alwasy found it funny that the US Government has taxed tobbaco for 300 years, they have always been the big winner and all of a sudden in the past few years they are hitting smokers hard. A pack of smokes would be fifty cents, the rest is taxes collected by the government? where is all our tax money going?
Whinning about the cost of healthcare as related to smoking? The tax they bring is 50 times those costs., want to whin whin about why after trillions spent on a simplee thing like cancer that there is still no cure? Its becuase none of the folks involved want to put themselves out of work.
Everything has a giant tax on it....? time for change is right, but the changes we have gotten in the past 5 years are not the right ones. Vote smart in November folks our country depends on you Americanizing yourselves.
You never see reports on how much is collected from each large tax cow. Like beer, half the cost is taxes...
I'm shocked more states are not on the Pot band wagon with Colorado reporting they will tax $68 million this year, taxes taxes taxes....we were better off with the British in charge.
@Rodo1 Death is only part of the problem (and we're all going to die anyway). The thing is the quality of life of smokers. My mother got off fairly easy, including living til age 81, but still had lots of suffering due to her smoking, including emphysema and cancer. I don't smoke, but just a single inhale of someone else's smoke makes me feel ill right away.
@Havokmon Sorry, that ship has long since sailed. After we fully socialize health care in a few more years, everyone's health becomes everyone else's business. After smoking, we can outlaw fatty foods, sugary drinks, and then other lifestyle decisions that the majority decides is not appropriate. We're on the eve of a new kind of bigotry, supported and endorsed by the state.
@jpwalkerjr The most brilliant thing that "big tobacco" did was partner with the Federal government in the "tobacco settlement". Instantly, the Federal government went from being an adversary to a partner.