Environmentally Friendly Cigarettes?

People have known for awhile that cigarettes are not good for your health, but it wasn’t until later that cigarettes also became bad for the environment. Not only does the smoke affect the smoker, but it also affects innocent bystanders. This has become known as second-hand smoke and has been the impetus to banning all indoor smoking. As of 2009 more than 37 states in the US have banned indoor smoking (Source: Wikipedia).

Not only are cigarettes bad for your health and those around you, but it is also detrimental to the environment. Tobacco is a plant prone to many diseases and insect attacks and therefore is sprayed with various chemicals and pesticides. Toxins such as DDT, Aldrin and Dieldrin are used as is Methyl bromide, which contributes significantly to ozone depletion. (Source: Action on Smoking and Health). These toxic chemicals then seep into the water sources and taint local water supply, not good for those living on these tobacco plantations or neighboring villages. The production of actual tobacco is also very detrimental as it uses more than six kilometres of paper per hour, (Source: Unionsafe) that’s about 600 million trees a year (Source: Smoke Free Kids). Even the filters are bad for the environment since they are not biodegradeable, add that to the fact that cigarette butts constitute the number one littered item, in the U.S. and worldwide (Source: Prevent Cigarette Litter), cigarettes may be the least environmentally friendly item out there.

However, if you are a smoker and either are having a hard time quitting or don’t want to quit, there are several alternatives. There are such things as organic cigarettes that do not use any pesticides, GMO, do not bleach the paper and uses a biodegradeable filter. American Spirit Cigarettes offer organic alternatives as well as additive free versions (Source: Science Blogs), however since the ’90s, there have been companies that have created an electronic cigarette. These cigarettes do not contain any tar or other harmful carcinogens that appear in regular cigaretets. These non-flammable cigarettes deliver pure vaporized nicotine into your lungs. (Source: Electronic Cigarette) Not only that, but these e-cigarettes also reduce the amount of waste (butts) created by the smoker. Unfortunately, there is not enough scientific studies to claim that these cigarettes are 1. healthier for smokers or 2. good for the environment. These claims have no backup and therefore is mainly based off of speculation. Because e-cigarettes haven’t been proven safe, the FDA is refusing to let them into the country and may ban their sale (Source: WebMD).

While e-cigarettes may seem like a better alternative to regular cigarettes for the environment as well as for your health, there is not enough study to show that that is the case. Rather, it is up to the consumer to decide what to do…

For more on smoking:
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Great American Smoke out – Lessons from a Smoking Cessation Class 

Killer Crop: Tobacco Facts to Inspire Quitting for a Healthier World  

Great American Smoke out: Make the Pledge, Live Longer, Live Better

FDA Regulation of Tobacco will Aid in War against Smoking

Herbs to Help Stop Smoking   l

The Shocking Ingredients in Cigarettes  



Meredith D.
Meredith D8 years ago

I am sick to death of people vilifying smokers. They don't all throw out butts on the ground, and they don't all smoke around non-smokers. I find butts by my stoop all the time and I just throw em away with the rest of the trash, and don't let cigarette smoke in my house because of the cat. When I was little I was instilled with values that basically sum up to "don't hurt anyone, and help when you can." So I don't smoke within sight of where I teach, use breath mints, and mostly smoke outside. I'm a stress or social smoker, so when things are going fine, I quit, and have several times, only to start up when the end of the school year approaches. But I definitely enjoy a cigarette with a beer, and what's wrong with that? Bars have ashtrays outside, and all my friends who smoke use them. There are a lot of people who were never taught there are rules for smoking, or littering in general, and pretty much all of them aren't on this site. So you're wasting your breath by preaching to the converted. Maybe if the cops actually enforced litter laws this wouldn't be a problem.

The Real Donna F.
The Real Donna F8 years ago

Sharon, eCigs are not another way for Big Tobacco to make money, in fact they, with the help of the FDA are doing everything they can to put a halt to the sale of eCigs because eCigs are an effective aid for smokers to quit smoking and therefore a huge threat to Big Tobacco.

Sharon D.
Sharon D8 years ago

this is another way for tobacco companies to make money. Lets just try and stop smoking and help smokers stop. I only quit 12 months ago myself but its the best thing i ever did.

Frankie F.
Frankie M8 years ago


Michael M.
Michael M8 years ago

I am a smoker and i am tired of all the anti smoking prejudice out there. If i wanna smoke I will, its irritating how others look at you like your evil for smoking. and now i am coughing hard from smoking and cant catch my breath when i run and recently got sick with bronchitis but recovering and now i have to watch my smoking, i gotta quit or cut down somehow

Alex R.
Alex R8 years ago

I think what needs to be addressed is to help get folks off the addiction through dietary and lifestyle changes instead of marketing another "cure-all" product and adding it to the lineup for the corrupt FDA to ban until the lobbyists get the amount of their offer up to where the FDA will approve them.

Amanda R.
Amanda R8 years ago

Oh please! Don't give people a new reason not to try to quit smoking. Mass producing smoking tobacco, and allowing it to be advertised, is definitely one of the dumbest things humans have ever done.

Rob and Jay B.
Jay S8 years ago

With all the hysteria about tobacco smoke there's something much worse that gets no attention: Wood smoke! It's highly toxic & carcinogenic, producing over 200 dangerous chemicals & compounds - some of the most toxic known to science. The elderly, newborns, children, adults who exercise vigorously & those with heart & lung disease are most at risk of premature death due to wood smoke pollution. The UN estimates that as many as 3 million people die each year from this pollution. Wood smoke is 12 times more harmful than tobacco smoke! Talk about second hand smoke!(See www.burningissues.org)

Levels of indoor pollution from wood smoke can be as much as 70% of outdoor levels. In the US it has been estimated that one wood fire can cause as much as $40 in medical damage to neighbors. Wood smoke decreases lung function & bacterial clearance in lungs. It, & the tiny particles is produces, increases the risk of lung, mouth, throat, nasal & even bladder cancers, asthma, meningococcal meningitis, joint disease, premature aging of skin & cellular damage leading to an assortment of diseases. It suppresses the immune system & damages your DNA. Wood smoke is the leading cause of lung cancer in developing countries. And this doesn't even touch on the effect on the atmosphere & global climate change from millions of daily fires.

So be a good neighbour & stop burning! Install gas or electric fires. We'll all breathe easier & so

Kimberly H.
Kimberly H8 years ago

This sounds like a good product, something where we can all get along instead of being discriminated against like leppars. No smoking inside bars, now no smoking within so many feet outside of a building, I mean come on, this is still legal..right?? In Mass you can carry a certian amount or marajuana legally or get needles if your a drug user but
God forbid you have a smoke outside!

Robert J.
Robert J8 years ago

The question is not "Are they safe?". rather it's "Are they safer than the current cigarette?". Anyone blocking these is likely getting tobacco money.

These pretty much solve the second hand smoke and litter problems. Kinda make you wonder about the motivations of those who oppose them, doesn't it?