Health Promotion Forum


Environmental aspects of tobacco 

Moderator: Dr Adriana Blanco Marquizo,  Head of the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control


  • Thomas Novotny, Professor Emeritus, School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA
  • Andrew Rowell. Director, Tobacco Tactics, University of Bath, UK
  • John Schneider, Chief Executive Officer, Avalon Health Economics, Morristown, NJ, USA
  • Jin Ni, Communications Officer, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland
  • William Maina, Coordinator, WHO AFRO

Organized by No Tobacco Unit, WHO

Tobacco and its environmental impact

Tobacco use is a well-documented threat to global health, and in the area of tobacco control, extensive work has been done to communicate the health risks of tobacco use and to reduce the demand for tobacco through effective policy interventions. What has been less discussed or documented are the environmental health risks of tobacco cultivation, production, distribution, consumption and waste. The harmful impact of the tobacco industry on the environment is vast and growing, and has thus far received relatively little attention from researchers and policy-makers. The environmental consequences of tobacco use move it from being an individual problem to a human problem. It is not just about the lives of tobacco users and those around them, or even those involved in tobacco production. Tobacco can no longer be categorized simply as a health threat – it is a threat to human development as a whole.