On May 31, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global advocates for public health will unite in commemorating World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). Embracing the theme of “We need food, not tobacco,” this year’s campaign aims to emphasize the significance of sustainable crop production and marketing options for tobacco farmers.
According to the reports, more than 3 million hectares of Land is being used for the growth of Tobacco. And the Tobacco farmers consume 50 nicotine cigarettes through Tobacco farming. Due to the growth of Tobacco, 300 million people face acute food shortages every year.
It seeks to raise awareness about the potential benefits of cultivating nutritious crops, while shedding light on the tobacco industry’s attempts to impede efforts to transition away from tobacco farming and address the ongoing global food crisis. Tobacco cultivation and production exacerbate the issue of food insecurity, which is driven by various factors such as conflicts, climatic shocks, and the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In examining the impact of tobacco growing, it becomes evident how it contributes to the worsening state of food security:
Annually, approximately 3.5 million hectares of land worldwide are converted for tobacco cultivation. This conversion leads to the loss of valuable agricultural land that could be utilized for growing food crops instead. Approximately 200K hectares of forests are cleared every year due to Tobacco cultivation.
In conclusion, tobacco growing significantly worsens the problem of food insecurity through land conversion, deforestation, resource-intensive practices, and soil degradation. Recognizing the destructive impact of tobacco farming on ecosystems and food production is crucial in promoting sustainable alternatives and raising awareness about the need for a shift towards nutritious crop cultivation.