Smoking and the Environment

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on May 6, 2011

It’s a well-known fact that smoking is hazardous to one’s health, and more and more people are becoming aware of the hazardous effects of second-hand smoke.  However, far less consideration is given to the effects of cigarettes on our environment.  A cigarette butt is small in size, but the effects to our surroundings can be quite large.

The many chemicals that are present in cigarettes end up in the atmosphere.  A lit butt on the ground can become a fire hazard.  Unfortunately, many people who smoke think they are considerately practicing safe smoking behaviors by stomping on their butts to extinguish them.  The fact is, animals and small children can pick them up and eat them.  Also, the toxins that are in cigarette butts can seep into the environment and hurt our water, fish, birds and reptiles. 

In addition to being a health concern, cigarette butts on the ground also present an eyesore.  Children should be playing in parks that are free from hazardous litter, and adults should be able to walk down the street without being affronted by nasty butts strewn in our parks and on our sidewalks.  There are small portable ashtrays that a smoker can buy to put in a pocket or purse. 

By stopping smoking a person becomes much healthier and also helps create a healthier environment by reducing second hand smoke and ‘butt pollution’.  Throwing butts onto the ground or flicking smoldering cigarettes out of a car window hurts us all.  Let’s work together to support laws that will fine people who litter our earth with this poison.