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Canada's Annual 'Smokeprint' Equates to 5,000 Tonnes of Polluntants Whitehorse YT

TEveryone knows that smoking is bad for your health but have you ever thought about what it does to the environment? Each year, 52 billion cigarette ...

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Canada's Annual 'Smokeprint' Equates to 5,000 Tonnes of Polluntants

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(NC)-TEveryone knows that smoking is bad for your health but have you ever thought about what it does to the environment? Each year, 52 billion cigarettes are smoked by five million Canadian smokers, contributing almost 5,000 tonnes of pollutants into the atmosphere. One in five littered items is a cigarette, making cigarette butts the most littered item worldwide.

"The harmful environmental effects caused by smoking are often overlooked when compared to the physical effects smoking has on human health," says Dr. Ted Boadway, health policy consultant and former policy director for the Ontario Medical Association. "Reducing or quitting smoking will help diminish the amount of cigarette butts that pollute our lakes and soil and threaten the quality of our air, water and food supply."

Globally, approximately 4.3 trillion cigarette butts are littered every year. While it can take an estimated 25 years for a cigarette to biodegrade, there are debates over whether or not a cigarette filter can ever break down.

Cigarette smoking also contaminates indoor air quality, with tobacco smoke being the most harmful and widespread pollutant of indoor air. Both the smoke inhaled by a smoker and second-hand smoke contain over 4,000 chemicals, including at least 50 that are known to cause cancer. Carbon monoxide, ammonia and arsenic, found in second-hand smoke, can also be found in a vehicle's exhaust system, window cleaning solution and rat poison.

"With over five million cigarette smokers in Canada, it's frightening to imagine the millions more affected that do not smoke. There are a multitude of resources available to smokers, including stop smoking aids, of which nicotine replacement therapies continue to be the cornerstone," adds Dr. Ted Boadway. "Quitting or reducing cigarette consumption can increase individual health and wellness as well as the health of others and the environment as a whole."

Quitting smoking is not only good for your health; it's good for the environment! Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), such as Nicorette gum, lozenges or the Nicoderm patch can be used as an aid to successfully quit smoking. For more information or helpful tips, visit www.reducetoquit.ca

Credit: www.newscanada.com