Cigarette butts, they are everwhere


When was the last time you were outside in a public area and have not noticed a cigarette butt? Cigarette companies started putting filters on cigarettes years ago. It may have helped the smokers, but did little for the environment. I climbed the post office steps the other day and couldn’t believe the number of cigarette butts on the steps and sidewalk. Next to the front door on the wall was a container for discarded cigarette butts. It seemed no one had used it.

They say it takes about 12 years for a filter to decompose in the outside environment. Why can’t companies develop a filter that will break down after it gets wet? I bet if you inspected a smoker’s ashtray in their car it would be empty. They would rather throw them out of the car window. It must be good for the car’s trade-in value. In the army of the 60s, if you tossed a butt on the ground the sergeant would threaten to make you dig a hole and bury it. Butts had to be field stripped. If you come off any freeway, at the stop light on the side of the road will be a pile of cigarette butts-a monument in the making to mankind.

In life, as you progress you will realize that animals leave droppings. With the advancement of the tobacco industry in health issues, smokers now leave droppings as well. I came up with a saying a long time ago: “I do not like picking up other people’s bad habits.” A possible solution is we could put a “core tax” on cigarette filters. You could return 20 filters and buy smokes a little cheaper. Or another idea: develop an edible mint flavored filter. When finished, the smoker could chew and swallow the filter so their breath would smell pleasant. In yesteryear, the Native American Indian had it right. They gathered, sat in a circle, smoked and passed the peace pipe around, and everyone was happy.

Paul R. Lawson