Governments should offer farmers appropriate smoking alternatives to growing tobacco plants as the ‘detrimental’ costs of planting tobacco far increasing their state economic benefits. “Tobacco growing carries health, environment and socio-economical risks. Studies found that more and more farmers that want to quit planting it. But you have to give them alternatives,” Anne-Marie Perucic, health economist of World Health Organization’s Smoke-free Initiative, declared on Thursday.

“The smoking alternatives will vary by country,” she explained on the sidelines of the ongoing 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore.

She argued that incidents of diseases related to the farmers’ exposure to tobacco smoke like green tobacco sicknesses are very increased across the globe.

“Tobacco planting causes deforestation and contaminates water supply because of pesticides. Soil decomposed because of intensive use of fertilizers for tobacco growing.”

In addition, she added, cigarettes butts littered anywhere are also very toxic and harmful to environment.