Are E-Cigarettes Better For The Planet?
Over the last decade, consumers have become much more interested in whether a product they’re buying is eco-friendly, or whether it could increase their carbon footprint. Today we are looking at how much the cigarette industry effects the environment and to see if we finally have a more environmentally-conscious alternative to smoking.
Cigarettes filters and tips can linger in the environment for years
A huge percentage of cigarette tips and filters are made up of a form of plastic called cellulose acetate. This type of plastic is not biodegradable, which means like the plastic bags you get from the supermarket, they’ll linger within the environment for many years after they’ve been discarded.
Many smokers think nothing of flicking away their cigarette butts – however, this can lead to a number of problems. Firstly, the butts cost a lot to clean up, especially in busy urban centres where they tend to accumulate the most. In fact cigarette butts are the single most commonly collected waste item, making up almost 30% of all litter picked up. They can be harmful to children and pets, as well as making an area look run-down and dirty.
If the cigarette butts are washed away into the drainage and sewage systems, they can eventually make it into our oceans, causing enormous damage to the marine life there. Water quality can also be affected, especially as there are often leftover toxins and carcinogens lingering in that cigarette butt (that is the toxins that haven't already been absorbed by the smoker). They are so bad in fact that one cigarette butt left in with five fish can kill half of them (in a laboratory experiment).
That is the beauty of e-cigarettes then, they leave no waste which will pollute the environment. Although the refills themselves need to be thrown away after use, they won't leak toxins that will kill wildlife, and as most people only go through 1 refill a day rather then the 20 cigarettes (and so 20 cigarette butts) they used to have, simply by making the switch you cut down on the littering part as well.
How the production of cigarettes effects the environment
Tobacco is grown exclusively by many farmers and that means over time they become vulnerable to pest and diseases (as all the pests that love tobacco slowly migrate to it) grow out of control. To stop this Tobacco farmers use pesticides, which can have a huge impact on the environment. This can have a huge impact on the wild life for miles around, including decimating bee populations. But it isn't just the poor bees that are effected, every year there are between 1-5 million cases of pesticide poisoning!
But to even get to that point you need the space to grow tobacco and to that end tobacco companies and farmers are cutting down at least 200,000 Hectare's of land every year. As the tobacco industry has been doing this for decades the impact on the environment has been huge.
If you compare this to e-cigarettes then the difference becomes even clearer. As we only use 4 ingredients in out liquids, (all of which have been made in the UK and have been pharmaceutically tested and used in other products for years) they have very clear cut rules on how they are made and how any excess is dealt with. With the recent drive to reduce waste and to create a cleaner environment by the government the pharmaceutical industry has come under more and more stringent regulations, to make sure that they produce the required ingredients without waste or dangerous by products.
Cigarettes emit harmful chemicals into the air
There’s a reason why smoking was banned in indoor public spaces – because the second and third-hand smoke is packed full of toxins and harmful chemicals which can cause damage to those who aren’t actually smoking. So imagine how much damage the same chemicals are doing to our environment? Those who smoke outdoors are still emitting these harmful chemicals into the air.
By contrast, studies have found that the vapour from electronic cigarettes evaporates much faster than the smoke from combustible cigarettes – which means they’re far better for the environment and they don't even have the toxins in there to begin with!
E-cigarettes themselves are becoming more recyclable every year as well. The batteries inside electronic cigarettes are fully rechargeable, which means the device itself can last for a long time if it’s cleaned and maintained regularly. As long as vapers dispose of their rechargeable batteries in the recommended way (at a battery recycling station, which are now available in most supermarkets and large shops), E-cigs are far better for the environment than combustible cigarettes.
So if you are still smoking and are looking for a way to not only make yourself but the world around you a bit healthier then check out our Starter Kits and make the switch today!