Global Experts Urge Tobacco Industry to Stop “Green” Public Relations and Harm the Environment

Occasion Coincides with Launch of a New WHO/STOP Report on Tobacco Trade ‘Inexperienced Washing’

(Geneva and New York, 13 Could 2022)— Yesterday, at a web based occasion hosted by the World Well being Group (WHO), the FCTC Secretariat, and tobacco trade watchdog STOP, world specialists mentioned the harm the tobacco trade is doing to the planet, its efforts to cowl it up, and the way the trade could be held accountable. The occasion heralds World No Tobacco Day, Could 31, which focuses on the surroundings as one more reason to give up tobacco and nicotine merchandise or not begin in any respect. A brand new report has additionally been launched criticizing the trade’s deceptive ‘inexperienced’ PR.


  • WHO Director of Well being Promotion, by Rüdiger Krech The entry included key information on the trade’s environmental harm, as it’s liable for 5 p.c of worldwide deforestation and researchers discovered partially digested cigarette butts in 70 p.c of seabirds and 30 p.c of sea turtles.
  • Maria NeiraThe WHO Director of Surroundings, Local weather Change and Well being emphasised that destroying the surroundings is dangerous for well being: “Think about: 1 / 4 of deaths (13 million deaths) worldwide might have been prevented if we have been extra environmentally pleasant and stopped destroying nature. The truth that no matter tobacco does is so dangerous for our well being, for those who add the harm it does to the surroundings, is an extra cause why we cease utilizing, consuming and producing tobacco.”
  • head of the FCTC Secretariat, Adriana Blanco Marquizo’s picture.questioned the environmental awards given to tobacco corporations: “The individuals who award them do not see the large image. The tobacco trade produces a complete of 84 million tons of CO2 annually – just like and even bigger than some small and medium-sized international locations. This isn’t a small contribution to the issue, however an essential one. There’s a particular mandate within the WHO FCTC (mandating international locations) to point out due respect to environmental points.”
  • STOP knowledgeable Andy RowellSenior Researcher within the Tobacco Management Analysis Group on the College of Bathtub urged the trade to scrub inexperienced: “The tobacco trade is making an attempt to inform you it is getting sustainable, it is getting greener. Do not consider the spin. Tobacco is killing one out of each two long-term customers, it is also killing the planet. Its ecological impression is roughly equal to one of many main oil corporations. We’re speaking in regards to the huge oil inflicting local weather change, however not the tobacco trade. And the trade’s new merchandise have batteries, single-use plastics – we will have a brand new technology of hazardous, poisonous waste.”
  • Kevin GengaA Kenyan environmental advocate spoke passionately about how rising tobacco results in deforestation, soil degradation and the drying up of rivers, whereas tobacco farmers work with out satisfactory safety for a precarious livelihood: “I prepare farmers in various farming strategies, i.e. much less environmentally dangerous, nutritious, nutritious tobacco to them. He’ll give meals that doesn’t hurt, resembling It might take at the least six months for the soil to heal earlier than farmers can plant different crops. Many can not afford this delay. I additionally encourage afforestation actions in order that we are able to restore the glory of the land we had earlier than tobacco. Thus, we go away a protected planet for future generations.”
  • Raquel Fernández Megina of highlighted a brand new tactic from Philip Morris Worldwide: encouraging sights to use for an accreditation to name themselves “smoke-free” as the corporate promotes new merchandise. However the plan made no distinction: “The island (La Graciosa) had certification however folks have been smoking in all places, you possibly can see butts in all places.” The Spanish Ministry of Well being has instructed the certification physique TÜV Austria to take away an inaccurate declare that the doc complies with the Ministry’s tips. Cristina Gómez-Chacon Galancommented: “The principle lesson realized is that it will be significant for the trade to be vigilant about greenwashing and to react to it unanimously and vigorously.”
  • Panelists mentioned difficult the narrative that the trade is economically helpful, particularly in tobacco-growing international locations. Badri Narayanan Shared analysis on Tanzania estimates that CO2 emissions could possibly be lowered by about 0.7 p.c throughout the economic system if the WHO FCTC have been applied. “Any loss to the tobacco trade could be offset by beneficial properties in different sectors, together with well being and environmental advantages. Coated forest land might enhance by 0.2 p.c. We will enhance plant manufacturing. The financial advantages could be constructive.”
  • A number of panelists talked about how the tobacco trade could be held accountable. Emmanuelle Beguinot Comité introduced from the Nationwide Contre le Tabagisme that France has handed a legislation increasing producer duty, consistent with a European directive to cut back the impression of plastic on the surroundings. “The intention in tobacco merchandise is to cut back the variety of discarded cigarettes by 40 p.c by 2027. The adopted precept is that the polluter should pay. Trade should pay the cities the price of cleansing cigarette butts.”
  • Oluwafemi Akinbode “We’re specializing in the well being results of tobacco, we have to broaden our framework of duty and have a look at the instruments accessible in our international locations to carry tobacco corporations accountable,” mentioned the Africa Officer for Company Accountability and Public Engagement. In Nigeria, litigation in opposition to Shell within the Niger Delta offers a potential template. “We have to make a powerful hyperlink between the local weather change motion and the tobacco management motion. We have now scientific proof that tobacco corporations are making a big contribution to local weather change, so we have to maintain them accountable domestically, nationally and internationally.”
  • Diana Sugiyo An official from Indonesia’s Muhammadiyah Steps defined that almost 200,000 hectares of fertile arable land has been degraded by tobacco cultivation, and cigarette butts are the only largest supply of trash discovered on the nation’s stunning shoreline. “This can be a actually severe difficulty. It isn’t simply in regards to the land, it is also for human well being, particularly for kids who’re prone to contracting inexperienced tobacco illness who work in tobacco fields. Indoor air air pollution can also be nonetheless a giant drawback and wishes higher enforcement.” Tobacco corporations Sampoerna (the Indonesian subsidiary of Philip Morris Worldwide) and Djarum are actively utilizing CSR applications to masks this hurt.
  • In abstract, the moderator Armando Pergua concluded that extra must be performed to assist the general public perceive the environmental impression of tobacco; we have to enhance hyperlinks between environmentalists and the well being and tobacco management communities; and it is time to maintain the trade accountable.

A recording of the occasion could be considered on-line.

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