“Estimated 495 tons of tobacco waste including cigarette butts and packaging waste is discarded in the Pacific islands annually and must of this toxic plastic ends up in our oceans.”

“Worldwide tobacco manufacturing produces 2.26 billion kilograms of solid waste and 209 million kilograms of chemical waste annually.”

These statistics focus attention on the effect of tobacco use on not only human lives but also on the environment.

This year’s World No Tobacco Day for Palau this May 31st is themed, “Cigarette filters/butts are toxic to our ocean; one more reason to quit.”

Members of the Alcohol and Tobacco Coalition joined this Wednesday’s press conference to bring attention to this year’s World No Tobacco Day and the events to be held to raise awareness of the detrimental effects of tobacco.

The Presidential Proclamation further states that “throughout its lifecycle, tobacco pollutes the planet and damages the health of all people.”

According to the information on the proclamation, cigarette filters break down into microplastics in soil and water, and the chemicals in the filters leach into lakes, rivers, and oceans and are toxic to marine life as well.

The proclamation further states that the tobacco industry “tries to trick the public into thinking they care about the environment by “greenwashing” their image through activities such as beach clean-up campaigns.”

For this May 31, a day established by the World Health Organization as World No Tobacco Day, the attention is focused on the devastating cost of tobacco use worldwide.

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