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How Does Smoking Affect the Environment?

How does smoking affect the environment? Vaping could be the best way for cigarette smokers to go green. Here’s why you should consider making the switch.

Puffing on a cigarette may make you feel instantly calm and in control, even in the most stressful situations.

It’s part of the reason why nearly 38 million people in the United States smoke cigarettes.

Unfortunately, cigarettes have the opposite effect on Mother Earth.

smoking cigarettes

The good news? With vaping — or smoking with an e-cigarette — you can take better care of the planet while still enjoying the benefits of smoking.

So, how does smoking affect the environment?

Here’s a rundown on why you should consider making the switch from cigarette smoking to vaping.

Let’s get started!

How Does Smoking Affect the Environment? It Causes an Emissions Problem

Research shows that smokers produce tens of thousands of tons of pollution in the air every year with their secondhand smoke.

In fact, the amount of pollution they produce is about half that generated by automobiles throughout the United States.

The pollution associated with cigarette smoke should give you pause, as the smoke contains a number of poisonous compounds. These include the following:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Arsenic
  • Acetone
  • Tar
  • Ammonia

Environmentalists for the past several years have been trying to place pressure on cigarette manufacturers to reduce the synthetic chemicals they place in their cigarettes.

However, research has shown that vaping is much safer for the environment. Let’s take a look at why this is.

Vaping Emissions

Scientists have said that the vapor that e-cigarettes produce does not contain the quantities of toxins and carcinogens present in the vapor of traditional combustible cigarettes.

In fact, several researchers have stated that the air that surrounds the vapor of an e-cigarette is similar to the ambient air in terms of their toxicant concentrations.

The reason for this is that when smokers vaporize liquid nicotine, just three byproducts are produced. These are propylene glycol, nicotine gas (when you use nicotine vapes) and water.

In addition, nicotine gas and water occur naturally. Meanwhile, propylene glycol happens to be an organic compound.

In light of the above, the quality of the air we breathe — and thus the environment as a whole — would no doubt improve if more people chose vaping over cigarette smoking.

In addition, smokers themselves may enjoy vaping more than cigarette smoking — an added bonus — because vaping doesn’t produce the awful scent you experience when you smoke cigarettes.

With an e-cigarette, you can use unflavored e-juices, which don’t produce vapor scents. Or you could choose from among a variety of flavor choices.

Either way, for many smokers, the experience is incredibly better than what they get with noxious tobacco cigarette smoke.

Cigarette Waste

Trillions of traditional cigarettes are produced across the world each year. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they create large quantities of waste.

The butts of cigarettes are especially notorious for being improperly discarded. And unfortunately, they often end up places where you definitely don’t want them — like the water supply.

Cigarette filters themselves contain toxic chemicals that may end up being released when they are wet. And this can drastically harm birds and aquatic life, who may ingest these poisonous cigarette parts.

Another disadvantage of traditional cigarettes? Their butts aren’t biodegradable.

A cigarette butt takes 26 years to decompose. However, when you examine butts microscopically, you’ll find that the toxic chemicals and remnants in filters stay in the environment a lot longer.

Let’s examine why vaping is a more environmentally friendly choice as far as waste is concerned.

Vaping Waste

Some companies do sell e-cigarettes that are disposable. However, many consumers choose the refillable and rechargeable options.

Yes, even with e-cigarettes, you have some waste. The cartomizer will eventually require replacing, and batteries sometimes go out. On top of this, e-liquid bottles become empty and must be discarded.

However, environmentally conscious vapers realize that discarding lithium batteries isn’t a good idea.

Also, the batteries are known to have relatively long lives. This makes them more economical and convenient, in addition to being more environmentally friendly than tobacco cigarettes.

Furthermore, vapers now have multiple options for recharging their devices. For instance, they can charge them in their cars with USB chargers (this is something you can do withJUUL Vaporizer, for example), or they can simply purchase extra batteries. As a result, they don’t have to worry about buying lighters to smoke ever again.  To get more such cool ideas visit this website.

Responsible vapers also realize that e-liquid bottles are reusable or recyclable. Their vape pens and packaging itself can also be recycled. Meanwhile, more than a million trees are removed every year to generate cigarettes.

Unfortunately, the trees removed to develop cigarettes are essentially wasted because cigarettes have no elements that are recyclable.

All in all, at least with e-cigarettes, unlike traditional cigarettes, it’s possible to recycle their components. That means less trash in today’s landfills, and less trash littering America’s waterways, beaches, and parks.

Even if e-cigarettes weren’t discarded of properly, cigarette butts would still be a greater environmental threat due to their higher toxicity level as well as their large volume.

How We Can Help

In addition to answering the question “How does smoking affect the environment,” we offer extensive information and tips about living greener today.

For instance, we go over the multiple benefits of recycling paper, as well as how to properly throw away fire extinguishers and smoke alarms.

Our goal? To show you that what you do has a direct bearing on the environment.

After all, the more informed you are, the more like you are to make choices that will benefit the planet long term while still meeting your needs.

Take a peek here to find out more about what steps you can take to cut down on waste and to promote recycling in your home and in your community.

With our help, you can be well on your way to making the planet a better place for years and even generations to come.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of Ways2GoGreen.com and Ways2GoGreenBlog.com. I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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