According to the latest researches, the global tobacco crop is worth approximately US 20 billion dollars. So it won’t be wrong to say that tobacco is a cash crop. Tobacco is being grown in more than 100 countries across the world. The major tobacco products are produced in China, India, Brazil, the United States of America (USA), Turkey, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. These countries constitute up to 80% of the world’s tobacco. Tobacco crop is being grown on less than 1% of the world’s fertile land. It usually grows in a warm climate with plentiful and well-drained soil. The facts and figures of 2019 prove that China is the largest producer of tobacco worldwide.
Tobacco Products and Use
The tobacco plant that is also known as Nicotiana, has been declared beneficial for many medical treatments and remedies. It is indeed useful in multiple fields but, unfortunately, tobacco production has generated various concerns for human beings and the environment. Tobacco production has become a source of pollution and contamination. Its growth and manufacturing have to be controlled otherwise it can show devastating effects on nature.
Tobacco products on a commercial scale cause contamination in water, air pollution, discharge of toxic substances, and deforestation.
By keeping in view the recent investigations, it is estimated that about 600 million trees are cut annually for tobacco production. This has resulted in deforestation and severe damage to wildlife. Moreover, it had been calculated that annual tobacco production contributes about 0.2% of the pollution across the globe.
As far as the tobacco products are concerned, these goods include cigarettes, cigars, chewable tobacco, water pipes, and electric cigarettes. However, the most commonly used tobacco products are cigarettes. It is measured that smokers live 10 years less than non-smokers. These cigarettes and other tobacco goods produce smoke when burnt. This smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals out of which 250 chemicals are popular to be harmful to human health. While 69 chemicals are those that are recognized to cause cancer.
Tobacco Products- Dangerous Consequences
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), smoking kills about 8 million people every year. It is reported that almost 7 million people are smokers, while around 1.2 million deaths are the result of non-smokers being disclosed to second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke refers to the smoke that fills homes, restaurants, apartments and other enclosed places when someone burns tobacco goods. The exposure of people to second-hand smoke is termed as passive smoking and the WHO’s 2019 annual report confirms around 1.2 million deaths due to passive smoking. Another issue for smokers is smoking addiction. The smokers get addicted to smoking on a huge scale because of the extreme use of cigarettes and the presence of addictive chemicals in tobacco.
Tobacco Products- Restriction is the key
Excess utilization of tobacco products can lead to serious heart and lung disorders, lung and mouth cancer, etc and ultimately death. If we want to secure people and youth from becoming the victim of this epidemic, it is mandatory to take the following measures:
Imposing high taxes on tobacco products
All of the top 10 tobacco-producing countries had imposed over 80% tax on cigarettes. For example, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country in southeastern Europe, had imposed the highest tax on cigarettes all over the world. Their government had implemented up to 86% tax on cigarettes.
Establishment of Rehabilitation and Counseling centers
Rehabilitation and counseling programs aim to return the patient to a regular and healthy life. These rehabilitation and counseling centers play a vital role in spreading awareness among people.
Prohibition on cutting trees for cultivation of tobacco
Legal obligations should be implemented on the organizations which are promoting deforestation by cutting the trees. These organizations are cutting down trees just to establish a fertile land for tobacco cultivation.
Almost every task needs to be accomplished with balance and stability. If we add a pinch of balance in our every task then nothing will harm the Earth and its inhabitants.