Cigarette butts endanger environment

Published 08.06.2017 00:00

Smoking not only puts your body in harm's way, it also threatens the planet, as it turns out. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Professor Cevdet Erdöl, the chancellor of Turkey's Health Sciences University, said 73 percent of the trash thrown into the sea is cigarette butts.

Citing that smoking causes 2.6 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide and 5.2 billion kilograms of coal gas emission around the world every year, Erdöl added the pollution in the atmosphere caused by smoking puts other people in danger as well.

Erdöl said that smoking habits disturb the Earth's ecosystem and that "[e]very year, 6 trillion cigarette butts are thrown into the sea. Each butt takes 10 years to dissolve in nature. These butts not only create ugly scenery, but also threaten the animals and plants living in the sea. Cigarette butts are poisonous. Every year, thousands of children put these butts in their mouths while their parents are not looking and get poisoned."

A study conducted in the U.S. showed that a single cigarette butt in one litre of water is enough to kill a fish. Considering the billions of butts thrown into the sea every year, the danger that Earth's ecosystem is facing is quite serious. Apart from the hazards to nature, cigarette butts and smoking also cause thousands of acres of forests to burn every year. "Most of the forest fires that break out around the world are caused by a burning cigarette. Every year, 17,000 people and countless other creatures die due to forest fires caused by burning cigarette butts. Cigarette-related fires cause $27 billion of damage around the world every year," Erdöl said.

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