In the last week, government agencies in two countries – the Netherlands and Belgium – have recommended a complete ban on the sale of cigarette filters.
First, congratulations to our colleagues for their work in pushing this and supplying research. This could not have happened in a vacuum.
Second, congratulations to all of us for these concrete steps to save our planet and our health.
Here’s why we need to ban cigarette filters:
- Cigarette filters are useless; they do nothing to lessen the damage from smoking. In fact, some research shows it makes things worse. They are yet another fraud perpetrated by the tobacco industry.
- Cigarette filters are plastic.
- Cigarette filters are not biodegradable. They break down into micro-plastics, with huge health implications for animals and humans.
- Cigarette filters are toxic. They are full of toxins, carcinogens and heavy metals.
- Cigarette filters are a huge source of plastic pollution. Roughly 4.5 trillion are discarded annually.
- Cigarette filters are single-use and cannot be practically recycled.
- Making filters out of organic materials only addresses one of these problems.