Tobacco and the Environment

  • The entire lifecycle of tobacco inflicts extensive environmental damage.
  • Tobacco cultivation has caused 5% of global deforestation, leading to biodiversity loss and ecosystem disruption.
  • Cigarette butts, containing plastic, are a major source of environmental pollution, harming ecosystems with their non-biodegradable and toxic nature.


The ecological impact of the tobacco often goes unnoticed. With approximately six trillion cigarettes manufactured annually for consumption by 1.1 billion smokers worldwide, the environmental effects of tobacco are felt globally. Tobacco is grown in more than 125 countries, covering about four million hectares of land, primarily in low- to middle-income countries. The negative environmental effects encompass all stages, from cultivation and manufacturing, the distribution, to consumption, and disposal.