UN: Tobacco kills not just people, but the environment

The World Health Organization says smoking not only kills about 7 million people every year, but has a devastating impact on the environment _ contributing to deforestation, water and soil damage and acidification.

In a new report released on Tuesday, experts warned that the environmental footprint left by tobacco production is comparable to that of entire countries. It said producing the 6 trillion cigarettes made every year hurts the planet more than the mass production of food crops.

Nicholas Hopkinson, one of the report's authors, said cigarettes should be considered an ``unethical product'' given its toll on the environment.

Experts calculated that a single person smoking a pack of 20 cigarettes per day for 50 years is responsible for 1.4 million litres of water depletion.