View Full Version : Cigarettes and Wildlife

August 7th, 2001, 12:49 PM
I saw this on www.planet-save.com today, thought you might be interested. I must confess to being guilty in the past, but not any more!............

"Did you know? Cigarette butts present a significant threat to wildlife. Cigarette filters have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, whales and other marine creatures who mistake them for food.

"People don't understand that the filter of a cigarette is designed to last forever, so they just toss it out thinking that it will just go away. But it doesn't."
--Volusia County recycling spokeswoman Margaret Hodge[NewsChannel2000 Orlando]

"Cigarette butts are the most commonly littered item,
making up half of all roadside litter."
--Texas Department of Transportation

An estimated 4.5 trillion non-biodegradable cigarette butts are littered worldwide every year. That's billions of cigarettes flicked, one at a time, on our sidewalks, beaches, nature trails, gardens, and other public places every single day. In fact, cigarettes are the most littered item in America and the world. Not only does cigarette litter ruin even the most picturesque setting, but the toxic residue in cigarette filters is damaging to the environment, and littered butts cause numerous fires every year, some of them fatal.
CigaretteLitter.Org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to running educational campaigns aimed at significantly reducing the amount of cigarette litter. Most people who litter their cigarettes either don't fully understand the consequences of their actions or they have rationalized the behaviour. This web site and our other educational efforts are designed to get the facts out about cigarette litter to both smokers and non-smokers. Once people know the truth, they will be much more hesitant to unthinkingly flick their cigarette butts on the ground.

Please explore this site and help spread the word about cigarette litter. We can be successful at eliminating this unnecessary nuisance by working together to get the facts out and to raise public awareness on the issue.

Contact us at info@cigarettelitter.org! "

August 7th, 2001, 12:54 PM
... yet another reason to be glad I quit...

Somehow they give the impression of being something that is quickly biodegradable, but they are not. Just what are they made of anyway? I've heard a lot of urban myth, don't know what to believe.

Earth Walker
August 7th, 2001, 01:01 PM
This would be good to air on some of our programs that deal
with environmental issues. :cool:

She who is NOT to be interrupted!
I think of "men" as the diminutive of Women.

August 7th, 2001, 04:59 PM
I believe that Butts are made from cotton... They take about seven years to biodegrade. (These are for the regular cigarettes... I have no idea about menthols...)


August 7th, 2001, 06:10 PM
Many cigarette filters use sythetic fibers along with cotton, taking decades to fully degrade.

August 8th, 2001, 03:48 AM
yeah, i heard that before. I usually put them out and keep them in the cigarette pack. That doesn't smell the best but....
of course lately it kind of occured to me that by clinching the butt and throwing it in the trash your basically just feeding it to seagulls in the landfill instead of robins in the woods.
basically, they're just plain nasty.
guess its time to either quit or go back to rolling my own. :sick:

August 8th, 2001, 10:43 AM
That's why I roll my own, and have for many years..

August 8th, 2001, 11:28 AM
A little OT...but...kinda still On.

Anyone ever see people smoking at the zoo, or at a farm, blowing the smoke right in the animals faces??? OOOOOOOO..Nothing makes me so angry as that!

My hubby's family reunion was this weekend, and it was hosted at his cousins farm. They own several horses. One of the family members was visiting from Florida, and the guy was one of those chain smokers who doesn't seem to feel complete without a butt in his mouth. Not only did he have a ciggarrette in his mouth the whole time (even when he was playing softball, and up to batt, and WHILE he was running to the bases), but he was throwing them on the ground right in the corrall, where he was standing, so a horse could easily have bitten a clump of grass with a butt as a garnish)..but he was picking up his daughter to help her pet a horse...ciggarrette in mouth....so the smoke was not only directly in his daughters face, but also in the horses. MAN was I seeing RED!!! I didn't want to say anything to the guy, because I didn't know him very well, and it was my hubby's family reunion, i didn't want to make trouble....but I did tell Steve, the owner of the horses, and he wound up putting them in the stable, and hanging a sighn saying that noone was to enter. That way, he could avoid the problem, all together. But man..was I ticked off! The horses shouldn't have been put in a locked stable..that MAN should have!

Then once, I was at a zoo...and there was a guy who acted in much the same manner, smoking really close to the cages, and not being careful of where he blew the smoke, etc. He was also tossing his butts on the ground. This particular Zoo, allowed some of the birds to fly around outside the cages, including a peacock (either that, or they had escaped)...and I saw a peacock pick up one of the butts in his mouth. I reported it to one of the zoo keepers, who didn't do anything about it, that I saw. So needless to say, I won't be visiting that zoo again. OOOO people make me sooooooo mad.

August 9th, 2001, 01:20 AM
I am glad that I gave up and that I only smoked for about a year around 6 years ago. Its not good for my health it reduces the amount of ciggie butts in the environment if only minutely.........well if I'm only fooling myself really. As long as the smokers can get as much of nicotine and carcinogens into their systems (and everyone else's) that's all that really matters :rolleyes: OOPS!!! Don't let me forget the money hungry companys that make and peddle this "killer drug" and use those filters 'cos they're cheap.....bigger profits:rolleyes:

let me apologise for my sarcastic rant to anyone who is offended but this is just a slice of my feelings towards the cigarette/smoking industry.


August 9th, 2001, 08:55 AM
Ok I am a smoker, but a courteous one! I never throw butts or anything else down. I will put it out and put it in my pocket if no ashtray is availiable. I also don't smoke in many public places that have a smoking section and nonsmoking within "blowing" distance. One pizza place we were in literally had the two sections devided by a half wall that had tables from both sections against it. If I were to smoke...it most assuredly would have flowed over to the table of the family sitting across from us...which I wasn't willing to do.

One thing that bugs me is at work when I take the occasional smoke break, my fellow workers will throw their butts down when they are less than a foot from the ashtray!!! What is up with that?

August 9th, 2001, 09:49 PM
I'm also a smoker, but a courteous one. I didn't used to be (of course I was 16 or so) until my cousin told me than when you throw a cigarette butt out the window of a car or throw it on the ground, birds will sometimes use those for their nests.. when they use butts for that, and then lay eggs in it, the eggs don't form right, or something.. so they usually crack early and the little baby birds die!!! She could have been lying, I don't know..So I decided that if I'm in a car that doesn't have an ashtray, I won't smoke. If I'm outside, I'll put the cigarette out and then put it back in the pack. **yeah, stinky!** I don't want the world to suffer because of my disgusting habit. I hate it when a family is sitting in the smoking section of a restaurant and theres a small child present and the parents are sitting there smoking away and blowing smoke right at the child. If I'm in a restaurant and I'm anywhere near old people (who don't smoke) or children, I go outside to smoke.

August 10th, 2001, 12:25 AM
That's one of the things I like about California. We did away with smoking in restaraunts years ago. It caught me off guard when I was on vacation last year and was asked, smoking or non? I probably hadn't been asked that in 10 years.

August 10th, 2001, 02:04 AM
I was under the impression too that they were pretty degradable...Looks like I'll have to try to be a little more thoughtful about it.

August 10th, 2001, 02:42 AM
Just one more reason why I'm glad I don't smoke anyway :)