Growing tobacco can have a lot of adverse effects on the environment, as cultivating it involves a great deal of pesticides which must be used in the all stages of tobacco growth. Due to the fact that tobacco depletes soil nutrients at a heavy rate, growing this crop requires regular inputs of chemical fertilizers.
One of the biggest problems with growing tobacco is that it encourages and facilitates the harmful practice of deforestation. Wood is used to roll and package the cigarettes as well as to cure the tobacco. In Brazil alone, over 60 million trees are used in a year to produce cigarettes that are exported all over the world. Many lush forests have been decimated to make room for this profitable cash crop. This increases the flood and erosion risk for the area and significantly harms the health of the surrounding ecosystem.
In addition, tobacco greatly depletes the nutrients in soil, ravaging the land’s potential productivity for future generations. Tobacco farming requires enormous amounts of water and pesticides for a bountiful harvest. Water that could be used for drinking and efficient irrigation is instead used in tobacco farming.
Area of deforestation in Brazil:
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