Reason #4923 to quit smoking: cigarette litter

Originally posted January 19, 2008. It's much more relevant in Michigan since the smoking ban was enforced May 1, 2010.

This came through one of Wayne State University's electronic discussion lists. Good information and yet another reason to heap on the the pile of reasons to stop killing yourself while increasing Big Tobacco's profits.

Many people who would never consider throwing candy wrappers on the ground almost automatically flick away their cigarette butts. Cigarette butts may look like small bits of litter, but they're a big problem for all of us.

Some surprising facts about cigarette litter:

  • About one of every three cigarette butts ends up as litter.
  • Think butts are biodegradable? Think again. Filters are made of cellulose acetate and may take up to 25 years to break down.
  • In the United States, cigarette butts account for more than 176 million pounds of litter every year.
  • Worldwide, more than 4.5 trillion cigarette butts become litter each year.
  • 80 percent of littered butts end up in our waterways, which they pollute with such potentially harmful chemicals as cadmium, lead and arsenic.
  • Cigarette butts have been found in the stomachs of fish, whales, birds and other marine animals. These creatures risk poisoning from the toxins in cigarette butts as well as blockage of their digestive systems.

Only smokers can stop cigarette litter. Dispose of cigarette butts in an appropriate receptacle.

1 comment:

maggie said...

WOW, I stopped smoking 11 days ago, and this gives me more incentive to be a non-smoker. I know 11 days is not a lot, but this is the longest I've gone without smoking in the last 25 years, I know this time I'm done for good.