Around Chicago, especially in poor areas individuals smoke plenty of cigarettes. Environmental, economic and social interconnections are all exacerbated through the use. This act is not just harmful to those that smoke it, but the people around them and the environment. Tobacco is an addiction to the individual, with many side effects that effect their health. For example, smoking is responsible for 9 out of 10 lung cancer diagnosis which is the leading cause of death by cancer in the U.S. (HHS.gov). Also, Cigarette butts contain chemicals that leach into the ocean and kill the fish. Smoke released can affect the individuals around smokers by going into the atmosphere and via secondhand smoke which is just as bad if not worse than firsthand. The tobacco plant is mass produced and is a wasted resource, the land could be used for food, natural parks or other beneficial needs, rather than luxuries. It also leaches key nutrients from the soil like phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium. The industries of tobacco farming use chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and growth regulators which are all damaging to the environment.
I believe a solution would be increasing the tax on tobacco, and banning the paper casing they use for cigarettes. There are alternatives like tobacco pipes and reusable filters. The increased tax would help to decrease the sales of tobacco and slow down the industry. Tobacco farmers would be ultimately at stake but the job at risk is unsustainable and negative towards the environment. Also, individuals that smoke would either go through the process of abandoning smoking all together or be more subjective to the high prices of cigarettes which eventually might not be worth it. In the long run, I believe this plan would benefit the environment, support those in poverty, possibly increase food production, and lower many health concerns in a lot of metropolitan areas such as Chicago. These changes will make the environment much more habitable and long-lasting for the inhabitants. Also, a lot cleaner!
Environmental Harm | The Tobacco Atlas. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Facts About Smoking and Tobacco Use | Be Tobacco Free.gov. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://betobaccofree.hhs.gov/about-tobacco/facts-figures/index.html