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Butting Out is Better for you and for the Environment

January 1st, 2009:

Canada's Annual 'Smokeprint' Equates to 5,000 Tonnes of Pollutants

    - Butting out is better for you and for the environment -

    TORONTO, April 29 /CNW/ - Awareness of the health risks associated with
cigarette smoking are well known among Canadians but the serious ecological
and toxic effects of smoking on the environment often go unnoticed. Each year,
the 52 billion cigarettes smoked by five million Canadian smokers contribute
almost 5,000 tonnes of pollutants into the atmosphere(1).
    One in five littered items is a cigarette, making cigarette butts the
most littered item worldwide(2). Globally, approximately 4.3 trillion
cigarette butts are littered every year(3). While it can take an estimated 25
years for a cigarette to biodegrade, there are debates over whether or not a
cigarette filter can ever break down(2).
    "The harmful environmental effects caused by smoking are often overlooked
when compared to the physical effects smoking has on human health," says
Dr. Ted Boadway, health policy consultant and former policy director for the
Ontario Medical Association. "Reducing or quitting smoking will help diminish
the amount of cigarette butts that pollute our lakes and soil and threaten the
quality of our air, water and food supply."
    The chemical emissions from cigarettes have been found comparable to
pollutants released from industrial sources. Emissions from numerous chemicals
found in cigarettes are higher than those from industries normally considered
to be major polluters(1). Cigarette smoking also contaminates indoor air
quality, with tobacco smoke being the most harmful and widespread pollutant of
indoor air(4).
    Both the smoke inhaled by a smoker and second-hand smoke contain over
4,000 chemicals, including at least 50 that are known to cause cancer(5).
Carbon monoxide, ammonia and arsenic, found in second-hand smoke, can also be
found in a vehicle's exhaust system, window cleaning solution and rat
    In addition to the smoke that is inhaled by a smoker, 90 per cent of the
smoke from a cigarette is released into the air and creates second-hand
smoke(2). Second-hand smoke contains at least twice the amount of nicotine and
tar as the smoke inhaled by the smoker(6). More than 1,000 non-smokers will
die this year in Canada alone as a result of second-hand smoke(7).
    "With over five million cigarette smokers in Canada, it's frightening to
imagine the millions more affected that do not smoke. There are a multitude of
resources available to smokers, including stop smoking aids, of which nicotine
replacement therapies continue to be the cornerstone," adds Dr. Ted Boadway.
"Quitting or reducing cigarette consumption can increase individual health and
wellness as well as the health of others and the environment as a whole."
    Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), such as NICORETTE(R) gum, lozenges or
the NICODERM(R) patch can be used as an aid to successfully quit smoking. For
more information or helpful tips, visit www.nicorette.ca or www.nicoderm.ca.

    For McNeil Consumer Healthcare products:

    NICORETTE(R) and NICODERM(R) are owned and marketed by McNeil Consumer
Healthcare, a division of Johnson & Johnson Inc. McNeil Consumer Healthcare
markets a broad range of well-known and trusted over-the-counter (OTC)
products around the globe. McNeil Consumer Healthcare Canada markets products
in the adult and pediatric pain relief, allergy, gastro-intestinal and
nicotine-replacement categories.

    (1) Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada. Available at
    (2) Smoke-Free Calgary. Available at http://www.smokefreecalgary.com.
    (3) ButtsOut. Available at http://www.buttsout.net/litter_stats.
    (4) Clean Air Online. Available at http://www.ec.gc.ca/cleanair-airpur/.
    (5) Canadian Cancer Society. Available at http://www.cancer.ca.
    (6) Lung Association. Available at http://www.lung.ca.
    (7) Health Canada. Available at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca.

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