The battle against cigarette litter can only be won if smokers join the fight on the right side. There are already millions of smokers who don't litter their cigarettes, and many of them are actively spreading the word to fellow smokers. Unfortunately, they are still a small minority. If you are a considerate smoker who doesn't litter, THANK YOU! Please continue setting a positive example and please continue to help us in any way that you can.
If you are a smoker who does litter, we hope that you will learn about the impact of your actions and break the habit. Think about why you litter and think about whether those reasons really make sense to you. Chances are, you have used one or more of the following rationales for your behavior:
ask you to consider our counter arguments to the
above points to see if we can get you to change
your mind. Our opinion is that there is no excuse
for littering, but we also think the best way to
communicate with people who have opposing
viewpoints is to keep an open mind and maintain
two way communications. In the meantime, here is
how we feel:
They are biodegradable.
THEY ARE NOT! Sorry for the all-caps, but this is
a gigantic myth. Different groups have done
different studies and their results differ, with
some people saying cigarettes decompose in a
year, some saying it takes twelve years, and
others saying they never decompose at all (the
filters are made of a type of acetate that never
fully breaks down). That is not what people mean
when they use the word biodegradable. Rather than
get into a scientific argument, we ask
smokers who litter to use common sense.
Ask yourself if
the cigarette you throw down is going to
disappear anytime soon. Do your own experiment.
Put a cigarrete in an outdoor planter (use a
string or pin to secure it), and see how long it
stays there. We guarantee it will be a long term
experiment! However long you finally decide it
takes for a cigarette to decompose, ask yourself
if you would like all such
"biodegradable" items to be thrown on
the ground, such as cardboard containers,
newspapers, kleenex, paper grocery bags, etc. It
wouldn't be pretty.
What else am I supposed to do with them?
There are many ways to dispose of cigarettes without littering them on the ground. Free personal ashtrays can be obtained by clicking here. These ashtrays are paper thin and will easily fit in your pocket. They are foil lined, trap the smell inside, and take up less space in your pocket or purse than a pack of cigarettes. If for some reason you donít want to carry around disposable ashtrays, then you can improvise which such things as film containers, metal mint containers, regular tin foil, or anything else thatís handy. Simply store your butt in one of these temporary ashtrays until you can dispose of it properly. If you do not have a container handy, stub out your cigarette when you are finished, making ABSOLUTELY sure it is out and that there is no burning paper or tobacco, and throw it in the nearest trash can. There is significantly less risk of fire using this method than there is from throwing your smoldering cigarette in the street or on the sidewalk, where it can easily blow into flammable material. A note to motorists Ė please use your car ashtray! If it is OK to
put in your mouth, it is OK to put in your
It is harmless, it is just a small cigarette butt.
course, this is the same argument that leads to
lots of "harmless" little things adding
up to very harmful big things. Cigarettes are by
far the most littered item in the world. Billions
of cigarettes are littered every day. Costly, and
often deadly, fires are caused every year by
littered cigarettes and the environmental impact
is significant. When you throw even one
cigarette, you are part of the problem.
It serves everybody right for making me smoke
outside and taxing my cigarettes.
We don't want to get into any
smoking issues unrelated to litter. We will say
that we think littering is a very short-sighted
and ineffective way to get your message across.
Smokers who litter give a bad name to all smokers
and make non-smoking activists even more
dedicated to increasing smoking bans and raising
taxes. Several universities have recently banned
smoking on campus not because of health issues
but because of litter issues. In these cases,
considerate smokers lost out because of the
behavior of their littering counterparts.
Everybody else does it.
excuse hasn't worked since
Everybody has a vice, this is mine.
true. Many of us speed, jaywalk, use pirated
software - you name it. If we all decide that
none of us will change our ways until every last
one of our friends and neighbors is perfect, then
we can all look forward to some dismal times, and
none of us should be complaining about it. Or, we
can be our own judges of what we think is right
and act accordingly. If you think jaywalking is
wrong - don't do it! But don't use the fact that
other people are doing it to justify behavior
that you know is wrong. If you think littering is
wrong - don't do it!
Search www.cigarettelitter.org or the entire web:
pocket ashtrays, pocket ashtrays, pocket ashtrays.