tocacco plant Native American Tobaccoo flower, leaves, and buds

tocacco Tobacco is an annual or bi-annual growing 1-3 meters tall with large sticky leaves that contain nicotine. Native to the Americas, tobacco has a long history of use as a shamanic inebriant and stimulant. It is extremely popular and well-known for its addictive potential.

tocacco nicotina Nicotiana tabacum

tocacco Nicotiana rustica leaves. Nicotiana rustica leaves have a nicotine content as high as 9%, whereas Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco) leaves contain about 1 to 3%

tocacco cigar A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Philippines, and the Eastern United States.

tocacco Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as an organic pesticide, and in the form of nicotine tartrate it is used in some medicines. In consumption it may be in the form of cigarettes smoking, snuffing, chewing, dipping tobacco, or snus.

tocacco Cigarettes are smoking products consumed by people and made out of cut tobacco leaves. Cigars are typically composed completely of whole-leaf tobacco. A cigarette has smaller size, composed of processed leaf, and white paper wrapping. The term cigarette refers to a tobacco cigarette too but it can apply to similar devices containing other herbs, such as cannabis.
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The environmental price of every cigarette

WE all know that smoking can kill. It pollutes the air and leads to untold damage … But does it harm the environment? Apparently, yes, it does.

And the damage is three-fold. Firstly, for every cigarette smoked, trees are being cut down to make way for tobacco plantations. Tobacco is a very fragile plant, and needs to be sprayed with pesticides and chemicals to avoid disease. This is on top of the energy and water wasted in manufacturing cigarettes, that could otherwise be used to produce food to feed the poor in the countries that produce tobacco.

Secondly, wood, oil, coal or gas is needed to cure tobacco – which contributes to climate change and severely affects the environment.

It also takes trees to produce and package cigarettes.

Cigarette manufacturing uses four miles of paper an hour just for rolling and packaging cigarettes – that’s a tree for every 300 cigarettes produced.

Research has revealed that 26% of the total deforestation in Malawi – one of the world’s biggest tobacco-producing nations – is a direct result of tobacco production.

So now Smokefree North West is challenging the region’s young people to unveil the issue of deforestation within the tobacco industry with the launch of its short film competition.

The aim of the campaign is to encourage 14-18 year olds to research the hard facts behind the tobacco industry in order to expose the things we don’t necessarily hear about and suggest ways in which their research could be used in a short film.

The three winning films will be produced as an online viral for YouTube and premiered and screened in the region’s cinemas.

Amongst the judging panel is ex-Hollyoaks actors, Matt Littler and Darren Jeffries, who will also work with the winners to produce and direct the winning films.

One of the issues that the campaign will highlight is the effects of deforestation in tobacco-producing countries.

Pippa Sargent, head of marketing campaign & communications, says: “We hope the film campaign will highlight some of the more serious issues behind smoking, such as deforestation, and encourage the tobacco industry to take further steps to protect young people.

“We want to empower young people to do their own research, make their own decisions and invest in the health of future generations.”

For details of the project see www.seethroughtheillusion.co.uk and to enter the competition simply upload a 20 to 100 word overview of your idea.


By Jade Wright, Crosby Herald

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3 comments to The environmental price of every cigarette

  • Giorgio Vespacci

    I’m not a smoker and believe it is a terrible habit, and I am a strong environmental follower. However, I’m skeptical of any quantitative statements in any context without supporting evidence. Your claim of 1 tree per 300 cigarettes appears highly specious and ridiculous. Here’s why.

    Using the following dimension for a cigarette (130 x 10mm), that converts to 4,084mm^2/cigarette or 81,681mm^2/pack of 20 cigarettes. Similarly, assume a pack of cigarettes has dimensions of (23 x 56 x 130mm), that’s 23,116mm^2/pack. Thus 15 packs of cigarettes would have a total paper usage = (15 packs * 81,681mm^2cigarette paper/pack) + (15 packs * 23,116mm^2) = 1,571,955mm^2 of paper. To put it in English units, that is 2,436in^2 of paper (645.16mm^2 = 1in^2). That further translates into standard U.S. paper units 8.5in x 11in sheets (93.5in^2) equating to 26 sheets of paper. Now, assuming that my measurements for cigarettes and for cigarette boxes are wrong by an order of magnitude EACH, then that brings the total sheets of paper units to 2,600 pages. Therefore, using your 300 cigarettes = 1 tree value means that each tree sent to a paper mill produces either 26 sheets of paper each (original value) or 2,600 pages (revised value by 2 orders of magnitude). Does that seem to make sense to you?

    Conversely, assuming my original value of 26 pages is correct, that means that in my box of 10 reams of paper (1 ream = 500 pages) that I use for my printer it contains 192 trees. Even if we assume the updated value of 2,600 pages is correct, then that means that one box of printer paper contains 1.92 trees. If your statement of 300 cigarettes = 1 tree were true, then the value of 2,600 pages is also true (I’ll ignore the lower 26 pages original est.). If cigarette companies produce 5.5 trillion cigarettes per year (Wikipedia), then JUST the cigarette companies use 18 billion trees per year in cigarette paper and packaging.

    To take this point further, if each tree harvested is 3 inches in diameter and abuts its neighbors, then 55,000miles^2 of trees are harvested annually just for cigarette companies. If California were covered entirely in 3in diameter trees with absolutely no spacing between them then, the state would be depleted of trees for cigarette paper and packaging ONLY in three years.

    Do you think you might want to revisit your 300 cigarettes = 1 tree value again, or at least back it up with actual facts and figures to prove it?

  • Josh Levy

    I think you fail to realize that trees are also used in the curing phase of tobacco. Look anywhere online and you will notice that 1 tree for every 300 cigarettes is a fairly accurate estimate.

  • Tricia

    It sounds accurate but I would be more convinced if there was name for who conducted this study.

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