World No Tobacco Day is this month. On May 31st, schools, healthcare professionals, and public health champions from around the world will join together to raise awareness about the devastating impact tobacco products have on our health and our environment. Typically, youth are not moved by numbers, but these may perk their ears up just a bit. Tobacco kills up to half of its users and more specifically, more than 8 million people each year. Over 7 million of those deaths are the result of using a tobacco product while 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
What does interest them are environmental concerns. Here is my “Bruce’s Best” for May. Talk about the environmental impact of tobacco.
- Scarce available land and water are being used for tobacco cultivation with thousands of hectares of timber being destroyed for tobacco production.
- 766,571 metric tons of cigarette butts make their way into the environment every year.
- If you put cigarette litter waste “butt to butt”, it would wrap around the earth 3 times!
- Vapes create major plastics environmental waste, tech waste, and introduction of toxic chemicals into the environment.
Help our youth find their voice and become advocates for issues that will change the world.