Home > Lifestyle > EnviroHealth > Green tips Updated 29 May 2013 Go green, quit smoking How tobacco harms the planet. 0 iStock Related Can smoking cause global warming? Trillions of butts Start A Health24 blog » Follow Health24 on Facebook » Test Are you envirohealth savvy? » Ask EnviroHealth Expert » Blood Lions: Bred for the Bullet movie trailer The amazing mountains on Pluto If you’re looking for some extra motivation to quit smoking and make your home a smoke-free zone on Friday (31 May, World No Tobacco Day), consider that smoking isn’t only a serious health issue, it’s a serious environmental issue too.Here’s why: Tobacco smoke is still a major component of air pollution indoors, where we spend most of our time. Even when people smoke outside, studies have shown that smoke can still find its way in through open windows and doors. Smokers also bring toxins inside on their hair and clothing.Land is deforested to make way for tobacco plantations, and when trees are felled to be used in curing the leaves, which is common practice in several parts of the developing world. Around 200 000 hectares of forest are cut down each year for tobacco farming. Tobacco plants tend to leach nutrients from the soil, and this type of cultivation is very pesticide and fertiliser-heavy.Tobacco companies produce an estimated 6.3 trillion cigarettes annually; the paper for these and their packaging requires further felling of trees. Cigarette manufacture produces greenhouse gas and billions of kilograms of waste, as does all the other items associated with smoking – packaging, lighters, matches and ashtrays.Cigarette butts, which introduce toxins into the soil and groundwater, are the world’s number one litter item. They are also toxic to children or wildlife that pick them up. Improperly extinguished cigarettes are thought to cause around 10% of all forest fires (as well as many more structural fires).All of which seems like a lot of unnecessary waste for a product that does not feed the hungry, nor cure illness, nor improve quality of life in any meaningful way… In a world of scarce resources, this is one item we simply must learn to do without. Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor More in Lifestyle Improved sunscreen More: EnviroHealthGreen tips advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... From our sponsors Keep an eye on your vision Which skin products are better, ‘medical grade’ or ‘over-the-counter’? Win 1 of 6 R5000 cash prizes Win a R2 000 Skin Renewal voucher Live healthier Exercise benefits for seniors » Working out in the concrete jungle Even a little exercise may help prevent dementia Here’s an unexpected way to boost your memory: running Seniors who exercise recover more quickly from injury or illness When sedentary older adults got into an exercise routine, it curbed their risk of suffering a disabling injury or illness and helped them recover if anything did happen to them. No relief for MS » Drug shows promise against MS in mouse study Vitamin D may slow multiple sclerosis Obesity in girls tied to higher MS risk Exercise may not lower women's risk of MS A Harvard study showed no evidence to support the idea that exercise lowers the risk of multiple sclerosis.