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Tob Control. 1999 Spring;8(1):18-28.

Global assessment of deforestation related to tobacco farming.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the global amount of forest and woodland consumed annually for curing tobacco between 1990 and 1995; to estimate tobacco's share in total deforestation; to rank tobacco-growing countries by the degree of impact of tobacco deforestation; and to indicate environmental criticality emerging from tobacco's impact on forest resources.

DESIGN:

Production of country-specific estimates of forests/woodlands needed and depleted on the basis of growing stock/increment of woody biomass involved and wood consumption of tobacco. Comparison of results with secondary statistics on forest cover, deforestation, and population development.

RESULTS:

An estimated 200,000 ha of forests/woodlands are removed by tobacco farming each year. Deforestation mainly occurs in the developing world, amounting to 1.7% of global net losses of forest cover or 4.6% of total national deforestation. Environmental criticality exists or is emerging in 35 countries with an estimated serious, high, and medium degree of tobacco-related deforestation, mainly in southern Africa, middle east, south, and east Asia, South America, and the Caribbean.

CONCLUSION:

The hypothesis that deforestation from tobacco production does not have a significant negative effect has to be challenged. For empirical validation, the globally significant pattern of estimated tobacco-related environmental damage ought to be included in international research agendas on global environmental change, to become an integral and rational part of tobacco control policy.

PMID:
10465812
PMCID:
PMC1763929
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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