The report goes on to paint a mixed picture in regards to how sustainable or green the tobacco industry is today. Here are a few of the reported facts and figures:
- Annually, about 22 billion tons of water are used in tobacco production globally, often in countries where water supply is already stressed
- Tobacco growing and curing are direct causes of deforestation
- About 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are discarded each year worldwide, making them the most littered item on Earth
- The growing popularity of newer nicotine and tobacco products such as e-cigarettes, heated tobacco, and nicotine pouches could lead to an increase in new “ecological crisis”
The report ends with WHO calling on all governments to become aware of the greenwashing practices of the tobacco industry and to address the problem with new counter measures to curb this activity. The WHO also is calling on environmental and sustainability accreditation organizations not to endorse efforts within the tobacco industry or award tobacco companies when they are greenwashing. Finally, WHO encouraged civil society and governments to reject partnerships on environmental activities with the tobacco industry that could lead to further greenwashing.
You can read this full report by clicking here.