FACT: Up to 5.7lbs of wood is used to make one pack of cigarettes. This doesn’t even include the paper or the packaging. Also, each year, 20,000 hectares (49,400 acres) of forest are cleared to cure tobacco.
SOURCE: Eriksen, M., Mackay, J., & Ross, H. (2012). The Tobacco Atlas (4th ed.). Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society. New York, NY: World Lung Foundation.
CALCULATIONS: 5.7 lbs of wood calculated using findings from Muwanga-Bayego (1994), which found that farmers reported using 130kg of wood to cure 1kg of tobacco, while government and tobacco industry officials estimate 100kg of wood to cure 1kg of tobacco. “Tobacco curing” is the process of drying the tobacco leaves, which is often done by burning wood. Using the government and tobacco industry’s own estimate, we calculated the per pack wood requirement assuming 26g of tobacco per pack of cigarettes. Converting to pounds, this amounted to 5.7lbs of wood per pack of cigarettes.