The Effect of Smoking
In today’s civilization, tobacco smoking has always been discouraged by communities and organizations due to its lethal effects on human health, but its impact on the environment has not been taken into account. Even though people are aware of all the side-effects, that are associated with smoking, they still tend to try it anyways. Not only is tobacco bad for the user, but it can be a danger to the planet itself. This results because of deforestation, a polluted ecosystem, and unfertile soil. Tobacco smoking is an addictive habit that is becoming increasingly common.
As the number of people smoking tobacco grows, farmers figure out ways to make more of it. Unfortunately, they result to clearing land reserved for forests.
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Before the tobacco plant can be used to make cigarettes, it has to be dried or cured. The main approach farmers take to cure the crop is usually coal, natural gas or oil. Since tobacco farmers come from poor countries, they must use the most economically suitable option, firewood. In order to provide this wood, large amounts of trees are dislodged. Trees have much importance and use in our ecosystem that most people don’t understand.
As stated by the Tree and Shrub Company, they play their role in the environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife (“Importance and Value of Trees”). Even though deforestation helps in producing tobacco, its negative impacts overweigh the positive and as a result, it will lead to a damaged environment. Tobacco smoke’s indirect effect on the environment does not end there. Another major issue that smoking tobacco brings is that it pollutes the water. This can be brought back to the farms in which the tobacco seeds are planted.
These plants are vulnerable to thousands of insects that may bring sickness to the plant, causing death. Consequently, plants are sprayed regularly and heavily with pesticide to prevent pests and disease. This in turn brings rise to other problems such as a danger to the health of the farmer and these chemicals have a risk of leaking into the community water. This will cause the water to become contaminated, and affect not only the community but most species in that environment. As pesticides move from our lawn to nearby rivers and streams, they bring harmful chemicals along the way.
This not only pollutes the water, but it also risks the lives of the animals in that environment. Not only will these pesticides risk animal lives, but it will also decrease water quality by huge amounts making the community at risk from getting sick from the water. Another major issue people don’t consider while smoking tobacco is it’s impact on the soil. Ground pollution is one of the main concerns for the environment. Tobacco plants demand high concentrations of fertilizer for optimal growth. Since these plants are grown in poor countries, farmers cannot afford fertilizers.
Consequently, the plants absorb nutrients from the soil until infertility occurs. This may seem simple, but the effect on the environment is huge. Due to lack of nutrients in the soil, plants that depended on it will usually be denied the nutrients they so badly need. As a result, most plants will become either very weak or they will die. This not only decreases wildlife species, but it endangers other animals as well. This is because animals that depend on those plants will most likely lose their source of food, leading to the extinction of those species.