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Ali Denisov
Ali Denisov

Malawis Forests Going Up In Smoke With Tobacco Industry __TOP__

The tobacco industry produces six trillion cigarettes per year that are consumed by one billion smokers worldwide. These cigarettes contain filters mainly composed of microplastics known as cellulose acetate fibres. Despite tobacco industry claims, there is no evidence that filters protect smokers from the harms of tobacco.

Malawi’s forests going up in smoke with tobacco industry


PMI, the maker of Marlboro and other tobacco brands, says it supports the foundation because the company wants to end the production and use of combustible cigarettes and help smokers switch to less dangerous alternatives, which PMI is heavily investing in. But many scientists and public health experts say the new foundation is, well, a smokescreen, set up to protect PMI's interests. In a 25 January statement, the deans of 17 schools of public health in the United States and Canada said they would not collaborate with the foundation; an official at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, has called the foundation a "deeply alarming development."

But Yach says industry and scientists should work together on "harm reduction" strategies for reducing tobacco's health risks. Harm reduction advocates see promise in e-cigarettes, most of which vaporize nicotine and reduce the inhalation of other toxic compounds. Some have also promoted "heat-not-burn" cigarettes and snus, a powdered tobacco sold in Sweden that is usually placed under the upper lip. The products are meant to complement antitobacco strategies such as taxes, advertising bans, and plain packaging, which have been shown to prevent young people from lighting up but do less to help current smokers quit.

Trees are being felled for fuel wood, to make space for farmland and for use commercially, including within the tobacco industry. However, a leading driver of deforestation is the illegal production and sale of charcoal made from wood, despite the introduction of laws prohibiting unlicensed charcoal sales. In a country where only nine per cent of people have access to electricity, wood is at a premium.

The tobacco industry is expanding its cigarette market in countries with weaker regulation, while launching a wide range of new products, such as heated tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and oral nicotine pouches, to attract customers in countries where cigarette sales are falling.

Globally an estimated number of 1,3 million children under the age of 14 work with tobacco. Moreover, tobacco farming causes massive deforestation and pollution. The ecological footprint of the tobacco industry is almost twice as big as that of Sweden.

In Africa, many traditional ceremonies related to cannabis were performed. Among other things, tribal chiefs would smoke this fermented cannabis before going to tribal councils to ensure that they were in the correct mental space to make the justest decision. Some medicine men and witch doctors would smoke the most potent weed, rolled into a joint with a corn leaf or in a gourd bong and then go hunting witches or evil/possessed people in the village. The culprits could not ignore the stench of cannabis and the moment they gave any sign that it was bothering them, they would be identified. Other sorcerers would place the most potent bud in the middle of a bowl with other items in the centre of a clearing in the bush and this would protect the area.

The tobacco industry has contributed to efforts to raise doubt around anthropogenic climate change among the public and policy-makers,26, 70-72 while publicly highlighting its commitment to a range of carbon reduction schemes. As with other environmental claims, deforestation and use of pesticides for example, industry promotion of carbon reduction targets and use of renewable energy sources are listed on corporate websites, but provide limited transparent detail or analysis.45, 73-75 Problems with voluntary reporting include shifting baselines supplied by companies that make accurate estimates difficult to calculate, and the reality that companies failing to meet their own targets may simply stop reporting them.70 Another tobacco industry tactic is to compare its environmental footprint with other industries. But pointing to lesser water consumption than the coffee or chocolate industries, as Philip Morris has done, is severely restricted in terms of ostensible benefits by the mortality and morbidity impacts of tobacco consumption.70


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