Warning: Smoking, And The Climate Change It Causes, Can Cause A Slow And Painful Death

Stop smoking - save the planet!

Don’t be surprised if someday soon cigarette manufacturers are required to modify their warning labels.

At the online Handelsblatt (Germany’s version of the Financial Times), Michael Kuhndt of the Wuppertal Institute Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production gGmbH replies to a reader’s inquiry on how smoking impacts climate change. Read here.

This is all part of a campaign by the Handelsblatt in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Environment.  

Yes – smoking is not only bad for your health, but also helps to kill the climate. According the World Health Organisation, about 1.1 billion people worldwide smoke, and this number is expected to triple over the next 25 years.

All that smoke and tobacco farming will surely have an impact on the climate. Smoking alone spews 2.6 million tons of CO2 and 5.2 million tons of methane into the atmosphere every year, says Kuhndt.

But that’s not the worst part, tobbacco farming and disposing of waste has impacts on the environment too. The widespread monoculture inherent in growing tobacco extracts six times more potassium from the soil than growing other plants does.

But now comes the big hammer: 150 kg of wood are needed for drying one kilogram of tobacco, which converts to 1.2 million hectares of forest. About 600 million trees are chopped down annually to make room for tobacco plants. These trees could remove 22 million tons of the climate-killing gas yearly.

Not only that, all those cigarette filters end up on the ground and contaminate the groundwater with nicotine, dioxin, formaldehyde and cadmium, so claims Kuhndt.

Great, now we can blame the next NYC snowstorm on smokers.


14 responses to “Warning: Smoking, And The Climate Change It Causes, Can Cause A Slow And Painful Death”

  1. DirkH

    Reminds me of the fact that breathing helps kill the climate, and buying that thing you just bought as well, not to mention everything you or i do.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      That’s actually not true because breathing is part of the natural carbon cycle.

      1. DirkH

        Not if it’s a human. Remember, we’re the scourge of the Earth. My sources are Ehrlich and Holdren, the inventors of modern alarmism.

      2. DirkH

        Oh, i see at least you agree with me about that thing you (or i) just bought and everything else you (or i) do.

  2. Bernd Felsche

    Alarmists lack a sense of proportion.

  3. Pointman

    People are dying of smoke alright but in the developing nations. Respiratory illnesses cause by cooking over open fires inside huts. The rarely mentioned downside of foreign relief aid which comes with strings attached; money not to be used to build electricity generation facilities. It can be spent on solar panels though …


  4. Mindert Eiting

    As a heavy smoker, I can tell you that smoke is dust. My tobacco smoke blocks the sunlight and therefore it helps the world cooling. As a politically motivated smoker I can perhaps make that we will win our charity bet!

  5. itsfaircomment

    Dr Richard North:
    The dance of the trolls
    “The troll takes as its starting point that the author of the piece to which it is responding is wrong, that the piece should never have been published, and that it is his sacred obligation to address these defects, and warn off all readers who might otherwise be influenced by it. That, in effect, defines the troll – it opposes the premise being offered and has taken it upon itself to correct or negate it.

    To achieve these ends, the troll will adopt a number of techniques and characteristics, the most potent of the latter being sheer persistence. It is always there, always ready to post, always ready to challenge unwary supporters, it will normally be able to wear down casual visitors, or frighten them off with the intensity of their peremptory demands.”

    Step forward ‘Mr Honeycutt’ ???

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      From the same article…

      ” To be a troll, you need not have any argument or merit…”

      I must not be a troll because I can provide as many sources to the data that I present as you like. It’s all in the published literature dating back 150 years.

      And, yes, I am very much a very tenacious individual. That applies to virtually everything I do. If tenacity is the only measure of being a troll, then guilty as charged.

      I have privately told Pierre that I consider a blog to be like someone’s living room. I have to abide by his rules when I’m in his house. If he ever feels that I am too overbearing he can ask me to either tone it down or leave, and I will do so without question.

      1. itsfaircomment

        Hummm…. took you a day to work that excuse out…..

  6. Paddy

    Worry over AGW is senseless because we will all die prematurely from cancer. Recent research discovered a new and deadly carcinogen, saliva. Swallowing small amounts over extended periods of time unleashes a deadly, rapid spreading form of cancer for which there is no known remedy.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Do you guys ever actually read the studies you cite?

      Here’s the one you seem to be talking about:

      Bessette et al., 2010

      Identification of Carcinogen DNA Adducts in Human Saliva by Linear Quadrupole Ion Trap/Multistage Tandem Mass Spectrometry

      “DNA adducts of carcinogens derived from tobacco smoke and cooked meat were identified by liquid chromatography−electrospray ionization/multistage tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI/MS/MSn) in saliva samples from 37 human volunteers on unrestricted diets….”

      In other words, it’s not the saliva. It’s what’s in the saliva.

  7. R. de Haan

    “Smoking alone spews 2.6 million tons of CO2 into the air”.

    No wonder my plants are doing so well.

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