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Environmental Destruction

How the tobacco industry’s products affect us all through environmental impact

Published Apr 11, 2022
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Tobacco products negatively impact and damage our environment. Cigarette butts are not just a nuisance, they are toxic waste. They contain chemicals that contaminate our waterways and ground soil and harm our wildlife.12 Discarded lit cigarettes can cause fires, which can damage homes and land.3It is also very costly to clean up cigarette waste – a problem that continues to grow every year.

Cigarette butts are the most littered item found on California highways and beaches.

The state spends more than $9 billion per year on tobacco-related medical costs. Another $8.5 billion per year is lost as a result of reduced work productivity due to increased employee smoking breaks, illness, and death.4

Click the infographic here to learn more.

  1. Novotny, Lum, Smith, Wang, & Barnes, "Cigarettes Butts and the Case for an Environmental Policy on Hazardous Cigarette Waste." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. May 2009; 6(5): 1691-1705.
  2. Register, Kathleen. "Cigarette Butts as Litter - Toxic as Well as Ugly." Underwater Naturalist Bulletin of the American Littoral Society. 25(20), August 2000.
  3. American for Nonsmokers' Rights, "Tobacco Environmental Toll." ANR Update, 27(4), Winter 2008.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Morbidity, and Economic Costs (SAMMEC)."

Explore by topic

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The industry calls kids their “replacement customers. Big Tobacco sentences them to a lifetime of addiction and disease.
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This racist and unjust industry has strategically targeted certain communities with deadly products and manipulative messaging.
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No one’s safe from the environmental damage and health risks from toxic tobacco waste and its plastic pollution.
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Hold the industry accountable

California has already protected people from other harmful products, and it's time to hold the tobacco industry to the same standards.