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3 Mar

I’ll be honest and tell you where I’m coming from first. I think smoking is a bit stupid. I think it is anti-social. It generally makes you smell bad and like any addiction it controls how you live your life, it disempowers you. But if you want to smoke away from me and other people who needn’t be exposed to it that’s your affair.   Just don’t throw your fag butts on the floor.

What makes fag butts (and cigarette packet wrappers for that matter) so different from a can of coke or a crisp wrapper? These are items that many smokers would never chuck on the ground. Where does this anti-social behaviour stem from? Smokers just don’t seem to regard cigarettes as litter.  In my experience, the same smokers who say that yes they are concerned about litter and they never throw their fags on the floor are the same ones I see throwing the butts on the floor, almost without exception. Some of these people are very reasonable in other areas of life.

The dog ends themselves are littered to an extraordinary degree, some 4.5 trillion worldwide each year. Incredible. They do NOT biodegrade. A problem when you consider that their primary function is to trap the worst of the toxins involved in smoking. When these toxins are littered they find their way into all manner of places. Into our drains, into rivers, into the unsuspecting stomachs of our wildlife, into our water supply. They also need to be cleaned up by someone so there is a cost to the taxpayer. One UK borough council estimated that smoking related litter made up about 40% of the litter they had to deal with.

There is also the unsightliness of it all. Look at the streets and you won’t walk very far without seeing one. People flick them from their car windows, throw them on the floor in front of their kids and although I heard there was to be an £80 fine for people caught chucking their fag ends on the street, I’ve never once seen an advertising campaign focusing on this issue.

Clearly, this post is what the title says it is and smokers will probably raise their eyebrows to the heavens but now and again I like a good rant!!!!