Stop Tobacco Pollution Alliance





Tobacco’s Toxic Plastics in Our Oceans



Every year, our environment is inundated with over 4 trillion plastic cigarette filters, many of which end up in our precious oceans. These filters, also known as butts, contain harmful microplastics that take over a decade to decompose. During this period, they release toxic chemicals and metals like arsenic, lead, and ethyl phenol, posing a grave threat to both terrestrial and aquatic life.

Cigarette Filters Harm Both Health and Environment and Must be Banned

Cigarette filters are a stark example of the tobacco industry's flawed product design. Despite being perceived as a safety feature that enhances the appeal of cigarettes, these filters have been linked to a more aggressive form of cancer. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) and numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have called for a ban on cigarette filters and for holding the tobacco industry responsible for its environmental damages.

STPA: Plastics Policies Must Align with Tobacco Control Policies

While many countries have introduced policies to regulate plastics, very few have specifically addressed the issue of cigarette butts. At the same time, the world's governments are uniting to save our oceans from the harmful impact of plastics through the UN Plastics Treaty Negotiations. In recognition of an urgent need, the Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control (GGTC) and Action on Smoking & Health (ASH) brought together advocates from around the world to establish the STOP Tobacco Pollution Alliance. This alliance aims to promote the alignment between the WHO FCTC and the plastics treaty, ban filters, and to make the tobacco industry pay.







Interventions delivered by members of the STPA highlight the importance of banning cigarette filters and excluding tobacco industry and other private actors that have an inherent conflict of interest from participating in the discussions.


1. Intervention statement of ASH, a co-convenor of the STPA, at INC-1 of the UN Plastics Pollution Treaty


2. Second intervention statement by ASH at INC-1 of the UN Plastics Pollution Treaty


3. Joint statement from ASH, COARE and CIEL


4. Statement by Corporate Accountability


5. Statement by Vital Strategies


The alliance also contributed the following articles to the POPLite Bulletin of the Break Free From Plastic Movement, which provided daily key takeaways during the first and second sessions of the negotiations:


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Reports, Briefs, and Articles: