The estimated annual burning of the millions of tiny leaves on lips of like number amounts to something of a bushfire with similar environmental impact.
In perspective, let’s say 10 million cigarettes get smoked, burned, in, say, China, daily. That would in a year be 3.65 billion cigarette sticks, hence, many stubs for the streets.
That’s a lot. How would it stack up?
We could make a conical hill of stubs that is about 20 meters high with a base radius of 18 meters (approx. 1000 square meters). The Smoking Landfill.
How big a bonfire would those cigarettes make on aggregate?
Imagine about three times that for the hill, thus a volume of 22000 square meters would get burned. That’s going to bushfire dimensions, with the associated environmental impact spread in time and space.
22000 square meters is the size of a rectangular tank measuring 100 meters long (think Olympics 100 meter dash), 100 meters wide, and 2.2 metres high (picture Michael Jordan’s height plus about 20 centimeters).
That’s just China, and we think we underestimated the number of cigarettes smoked there per year. We also get a sense of the size of the business; from the farms, through the producers, to the mouths of users. It’s quite some momentum to go against in order to eliminate the consumption—if that is an ideal to seek. There are noted health reasons for this ideal.
Taxation is a noted means to discourage/reduce consumption while lining up the governments pockets to at least support medical remediation for the effects of smoking on citizens. Environmental remediation for the effects of cigarette smoke, or any smoke for that matter, is currently hypothetical.
If the EU is as serious about the climate and environment as they appear to be, should they do something about cigarettes also. Should it still be managed/endured, or eliminated. How can consumption be effectively significantly consistently reduced?
Charge environment tax on cigarettes? What could this achieve?
(Stub/Cigarette diameter assumed to be one centimeter. Stub length assumed to be one inch, i.e., 2.54 centimeters and burned length estimated as three times the stub length.
I think that ten million is a reasonable minimum estimate for the number of cigarettes smoked per day in China; assuming that number, less than one percent of the a publicised 1.3 billion population, smoke one cigarette a day.)