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Nigeria second in Africa cigarette pollution

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By Abdulwasiu Usman

Global cost of cigarette filter pollution stood at $26 billion per year.

According to data analyzed by The African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA), Nigeria, the most densely populated country in Africa, holds the second position among African nations when it comes to its contribution to the astonishing global expenses of $26 billion linked to environmental pollution caused by plastic in cigarette butts and packaging. The ATCA released a statement affirming their findings based on the research conducted by the Global Centre for Good Governance in Tobacco Control, which was publicly published in the journal Tobacco Control.

Findings revealed by the World Population Review show that Nigeria accounts for 4.8 percent of the global smoking rate, which was estimated at 23.17 percent. Surprisingly, despite efforts to discourage consumption, around 3.1 million individuals in Nigeria continue to smoke cigarettes. The Paediatric Association of Nigeria has confirmed that approximately 2.4 million Nigerians indulge in this habit on a daily basis. It further warned that cigarette consumption would cause eight million people globally to lose their lives worldwide by 2030.

Addressing the issue of tobacco plastic waste pollution is vital.

In evaluating the impact of African nations on global cigarette filter pollution expenses, the ATCA study revealed that those with the highest smoking prevalence such as South Africa, Nigeria, Sudan, Mozambique, Kenya, and Ethiopia carry the heaviest burden. The global cost of cigarette filter pollution stood at $26 billion per year or an immense $186 billion over a decade (taking inflation into account) towards waste management costs and the degradation of marine ecosystems on a global scale. These costs may be modest when compared with the annual economic losses of US$1.4 trillion, and the staggering 8 million deaths caused by tobacco each year, but they persistently accumulate and can be prevented.

As per the research, the estimation was based on various sources such as the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), The Tobacco Atlas, and the World Wildlife Fund. It highlighted that low and middle-income nations, particularly those in Africa, suffer the most from this environmental responsibility due to rising smoking rates, significant plastic leakage, and inadequate waste management capabilities. ACTA pointed out that it is crucial to address the issue of plastic waste pollution due to the potential health and environmental hazards associated with the presence of harmful chemicals in discarded cigarette butts.

Industry should be responsible for waste clean-up.

Furthermore, they advocated for a paradigm shift in policies where the industry is held responsible for clean-up efforts, adhering to the principle of making polluters pay. ATCA, a key participant in the worldwide initiative Stop Tobacco Pollution Alliance, expressed the same sentiment through its Executive Secretary Leonce Sessou, emphasizing the importance of holding the industry liable. Sessou emphasized the urgency of addressing the industry’s history of waste and urged for the funds redirection towards autonomous and impactful initiatives that adhere to the principles of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Moreover, the industry’s cunning green-washing methods were exposed in a new report released by the Global Tobacco Index. Sessou stressed the urgency of prohibiting cigarette filters within the ongoing global plastics treaty negotiations, a viewpoint supported by the WHO in its treaty submission. Furthermore, Sessou pointed out that plastic pollution has an impact on climate change, a pressing issue currently being addressed at COP28 of the UNFCCC. The conclusion of the Plastics Treaty negotiations (INC3) took place in Nairobi, Kenya at the end of November 2023 and the upcoming negotiations will be held in Ottawa, Canada in April 2024.

ATCA is committed to addressing the tobacco epidemic.

While the African region has lower smoking rates compared to other regions, the increasing consumption calls for immediate attention and action, as stated by the World Health Organization (WHO). As a non-profit, non-political, Pan-African network of civil society organizations, ATCA is committed to addressing the tobacco epidemic and safeguarding public health in Africa. It functions as an Observer for the WHO FCTC Conference of Parties. The organization holds a unique status of being recognized by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as having Special Consultative Status and it is also accredited by WHO AFRO as a regional Non-State Actor (NSA).

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2 months ago

Nigeria second in Africa cigarette pollution. – Global cost of cigarette filter pollution stood at $26 billion per year. Express your point of view.

2 months ago

The fact that cigarette filter pollution costs $26 billion year is astounding, and it is a global problem. We must encourage appropriate disposal practices and increase public understanding of the harm that cigarette waste causes to the environment.

2 months ago

It’s disheartening to see our country ranked second in Africa for contributing to global cigarette pollution expenses. The need for industry accountability in waste cleanup is crucial to address the environmental and health hazards associated with discarded cigarette butts. Urgent action and support for global initiatives like prohibiting cigarette filters are necessary for a healthier future.

2 months ago

In Africa, Nigeria ranks second for cigarette pollution. The yearly cost of cigarette filter pollution was $26 billion worldwide. To mitigate the risks to the environment and public health posed by wasted cigarette butts, industry accountability for waste cleanup is essential. Action now and assistance with international projects

Adeoye Adegoke
2 months ago

That’s concerning to hear that Nigeria ranks second in Africa for cigarette pollution. The global cost of cigarette filter pollution at $26 billion per year is quite significant. It’s important for us to address this issue and take steps towards reducing cigarette pollution.
Cigarette filters, made of non-biodegradable materials, contribute to environmental pollution and harm ecosystems. Proper disposal and awareness campaigns can help mitigate this problem. Additionally, promoting smoking cessation programs and raising awareness about the negative impact of smoking can have long-term benefits for both public health and the environment.
It’s crucial for individuals, communities, and the government to work together to tackle this issue. Implementing stricter regulations, promoting sustainable alternatives, and educating the public about the environmental consequences of cigarette pollution can make a difference.

Let’s strive towards a cleaner and healthier environment for everyone.