If you are reading this article, then you are probably part of a generation that grew up learning about the dangers of smoking cigarettes and the equivalent dangers of hanging out with people who smoke and taking in secondhand smoke. All of which are scientifically proven to be true.
However, smoking isn’t just bad for our bodies, it’s bad for the planet, which is by extension bad for us since we live here. In a changing world where vaping has grown both in awareness and also by extension in use, it’s important for us to understand why vaping is going to increase the health of our bodies, and probably more importantly, the health of our planet for future generations.
5.6 trillion, 3.28 trillion, 1.69 billion and 11 million. These are big numbers, moreover, they are the negative numbers that equate to cigarettes. 5.6 trillion cigarettes are smoked annually and roughly 3.28 trillion cigarette butts are littered per year by people throwing them on the ground, in sewers or the nearest convenient spot according to cigwaste.org.
A whopping 38% of the TOTAL waste collected from environmental pick up is cigarette litter. We are responsible for adding 1.69 billion lbs of cigarette waste per year according to nosmoke.org. Vape devices, on the other hand, are made of metal, and last for years and can be recycled.
Picking up that 1.69 billion pounds of butts cost upwards of $10-15 billion dollars per year, depending on the city and the volume of smokers and how heavily each person smokes. Vape devices, on the other hand, are made of metal, and last for ears and can be recycled. Vape devices, by comparison, are made of metal and last for years and are recyclable as are the batteries they run on. Talking about vaping waste also only takes up three lines compared to the thirteen needed to cover cigarette waste.
According to preventcigarettelitter.org, 32% of all litter removed from the coastlines are cigarette butts. Cigarette butts are not biodegradable and are made of cellulose acetate which takes twelve years to decompose. Twelve years! The number of harmful toxins and chemicals that are leaked into our oceans and fresh water by cigarette litter every day is enormous. Fish and other wildlife are exposed to these harmful chemicals and die.
Worse than that, there are a plethora of harmful toxins and chemicals in those butts that leak into our oceans and fresh water. Fish and other wildlife are exposed to these harmful chemicals and die. Some people don’t care if the fish die, but karma does, and the fish that don’t die, will end up on your plate and guess who gets to re-ingest the toxins? We do, and then we die from a variety of forms of cancer.
Vaping causes zero deaths to any animals, will not be re-ingested during eating.
The next two ways vaping helps our environment are a bit of a surprise, but pleasant ones nonetheless. An estimated 600 million tree`s are cut down annually for the production of tobacco alone. I bet you didn’t know that. That of course, is on top of the others reasons we cut down trees, for building materials, paper or clearing a space to build homes. In countries like South Korea and Uruguay, tobacco farming accounts for 40% of its annual deforestation. Deforestation increases carbon dioxide emissions, which is responsible for 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions every year.
Another neat little fact is smoking itself releases 16 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere just in the U.S. which doesn’t even account for the smoking that occurs everywhere else in the world. Hard to understand what 16 million metric tons looks like? If every smoker in the U.S. quit it would be the equivalent of getting 4 million cars worth of pollution off the road.
Vaping: 0 trees cut down, 0 greenhouse gasses, 0 carbon dioxide. Are we seeing a pattern here?
Yeah! Vaping can reduce world hunger. How you ask? Well, Tobacco farming uses up 5.3 million hectares of land. That amount of land could feed roughly about 15-20 million people. It is reported that six of the top ten tobacco producing countries have starving populations.
Smoking costs us 200 billion dollars a year in medical costs resulting from smoking. The UN estimates it would cost an additional $30 billion a year to completely eradicate world hunger
Vaping: Takes up no land, immediately saves 200 billion dollars in medical costs and in doing so eliminates world hunger. Why are we waiting again?
Once we cover the simpler topics, we look at how they combine to form other problems. Looking at the harmful toxins as they go into oceans, but also into the soil and ecosystems. Pair that with deforestation and use of land for tobacco farming. We look at an equally critical problem arising from the two combined.
There are a few species that if eliminated would spell the end of humanity as we know it. Some larger species are already being wiped out without the aid of the cigarette butt. However species like Ants and worms which are responsible decomposing matter (leftover food) and turning up soil. Ants aerate the soil and recycle nutrients. All of which is necessary for healthy soil and plant growth. However, toxins that soak into the soil can cause the death of worms and ants.
Bats are another species that are important as they perform nocturnal insect control services by consuming millions of pest insects each year saving billions of dollars of crops each year. A single brown bat can eat up to a thousand mosquitoes in one hour! They Also produce guano, or bat droppings have significant roles for plant dispersal. Bats travel great distances, helping plants to grow and survive in a variety of locations. Bats also aid in the restoration of rainforests. However, bats can eat cigarette butts which lead to their deaths.
Lastly, recent research suggests that fish can actually combat climate change. Researchers at the University of Exeter have data that indicates that fish excrement in the form of calcium carbonate can significantly reduce ocean acidity. When the fish excrement floats to the surface of the ocean and dissolves, it counters the carbon dioxide that creates acidity in the water. As spoken to earlier fish are constantly exposed to toxins from cigarette butts and die quite often from eating the butts.
Vaping creates none of the harmful leftovers for animals to eat or absorb through the soil.
So there you have it. Five ways that vaping will save the world.
Did we miss any ways vaping was good for the planet? Share your thoughts with us on social media or in the comments section below.