December 11th, 2006

Butt Litter

Cigarette butt

No, no.. not that kind of butt. C’mon, people. Have some class!

Today’s rant has to do with my pet peeve of smokers and littering. Back in my Boy Scouting days, I was always taught to leave a place cleaner than it was (or equally clean) when I was there.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, there seems to be some warped mentality among (the majority of) smokers that it’s acceptable to throw away their cigarette butts in any random place they happen to be. Should there not be any ash tray cans for them to leave it, they deem it appropriate to throw their butt on the ground, in the grass, in the ditch, or wherever they seem to be standing at the moment.

Where do these people get off justifying their littering? Do they think that throwing their butts out of the car window is something other than littering? Are they unaware that countless fires have been started (not to mention lives, homes, and priceless possessions lost) as a result of such selfish carelessness?

Littering is socially irresponsible anyways, but I get the idea that smokers think it isn’t quite “littering” if it’s a small cigarette butt. I resist cleaning up after such people because the thought of touching a slobber-ridden, smoldering piece of trash doesn’t appeal to me. Perhaps I should buy some of those rockin’ forceps and carry them everywhere I go to make our world a cleaner place. Perhaps…

14 Responses to “Butt Litter”

  1. fontor
    December 12, 2006 at 12:55 am #

    And it’s not just the butts — how about the release of toxic smoke into everyone’s air?

    I have long held that smoking is an act of almost sociopathic irresponsibility. It goes beyond ‘bad habit’ and into ‘character flaw’.

    But then I suppose my lack of charity on this matter may be because I’ve never been addicted to nicotine.

  2. Naiah Earhart
    December 12, 2006 at 8:52 am #

    “rockin’ forceps,” as opposed to regular forceps? Cool.

    I used to smoke (*gasp*–uh, I didn’t grow up in the church, and I did kinda go inactive for three years…), and the littering thing always tweaked me. I was more of a scrub it on the ground until I’m really sure it’s out and then place it in a trash can.

    Many smokers don’t do that because the butts make a huge amount of smell when they do that–especially if the trash can is indoors or inside any type of enclosure. So, for those amokers who bother to think about it, it is kind of a lesser of two evils choice.

    Really, though, for most of them it’s just cultural norm. You’re done; you flick your butt; end of story.

    Ok, time to be productive. What would you suggest as an alternate behavior for smokers when there are not ash tray cans around?

    (Of course there’s always getting everyone to quit smoking, but, in the meantime…)

  3. Connor
    December 12, 2006 at 9:47 am #

    What would you suggest as an alternate behavior for smokers when there are not ash tray cans around?

    I’d suggest smokers carry around some sort of container that they can put their butts into to dispose of later. It’s similar to when you take your dog for a walk, and he takes a dump on your neighbor’s lawn. The proper thing to do is clean up after yourself (and your dog), so it’s best to bring a bag with you. Smokers should carry something with them to dispose of their trash when there isn’t an ash tray/can available to them. It’s only proper, people!

    — And now, a brief word from one of our sponsors —

    Smokey the bear

  4. latterdayteancum
    December 12, 2006 at 3:06 pm #

    I agree with Naiah. It is the odor and covenience that makes it hard for smokers to practice responsiblity in disposing their cigarrette butts. If cigarrettes didn’t smell so awful and so strong (especially when they go stale, yuck!) than I believe most would put them out and stick them in their pocket if there were no trash can around.

  5. Parker (brother #3)
    December 12, 2006 at 11:31 pm #

    yeah i hate smokers.. i have a sensitive nose so whenever i am near them i feel like im going to die haha. its not that i hate the smokers themselves. i hate how they blow thier smoke right into your path so your lungs can shrivel up into black balls of tar. haha. i work at albertsons and people stand right by the door smoking up a chimney and all the fumes come inside. seeing as how there is no air-recirculation, i can barely even work when they do that. i have to go in the back to get some fresh air. i wouldnt mind smokers much if they would be more considerate and realize that they are acutally harming the people around them. one thing i also have trouble comprehending is what is GOOD about cigarettes? i havent heard a valid answer yet…

  6. fontor
    December 13, 2006 at 2:00 am #

    It cures cancer.

  7. Naiah Earhart
    December 13, 2006 at 8:38 am #

    There you go, Connor. It’s a good idea, and even a legislatable one. It’s one that would be inconvenient at first, and smokers would gripe about it, but it’s certainly integratable.

    If every smoker just carried a ziploc baggie in their opcket, there’d be no trouble—from the butts, but, of course as Parker pointed out there’s still second-hand smoke to contend with.

    Here in Washington, they’ve dealt with the smoke-blowing-in-the-door problem with the new 25 foot law that was passed last year.

    It would be best if everyone woudl just quit. If the industry driving it would just quit. With so many dollars ont he line, I just don’t see a way to make that happen.

  8. Dustin Davis
    December 13, 2006 at 10:51 am #

    I suppose if they carry around a pack of cigarettes they could also carry around an Altoids tin or something to stick the butts in until they get to a place to discard them.

  9. Curtis
    December 13, 2006 at 12:44 pm #

    If Green Peppers caused 400,000 deaths a year in America like smoking does, what do you think would happen? I’m a pathologist and get to see lung cancer and emphysema on a daily basis. It’s pretty gruesome.

    Spinach gets pulled off the market immediately when it kills one person. I don’t think Green Peppers would stay on the shelves long at the local grocery store. There’s just not a strong enough Green Pepper lobby.

  10. John Anderson
    December 13, 2006 at 2:19 pm #

    Yeah but if green peppers were addictive, and multi-billion dollar corporations were producing them…

    Wait… that doesn’t help any. 🙂

  11. APJ
    December 13, 2006 at 2:49 pm #

    There actually was a case I read where the FDA tried to regulate the tobacco industry (I don’t think they were trying to eliminate cigarettes completely, just limit advertising or something), since they are authorized to regulate drugs (FDA said nicotine was a drug) and ‘drug devices’ (the cigarette). Technically, the FDA’s position was logical, but I think the Supreme Court held that because Congress had explicitly passed other laws regarding the tobacco industry, that precluded the FDA from regulating it. In other words, Congress created the FDA to regulate drugs, but Congress could make exceptions by regulating certain drugs with other committees, rules, etc. (I’m totally going by my memory here, but I think this was the gist of it)

    In other words, yes, cigarettes are much more dangerous than many foods and drugs that the FDA regulates, but a powerful tobacco lobby has successfully convinced Congress to limit regulations on cigarettes and tobacco products. It is truly all about the money in the case of tobacco.

  12. Parker (brother #3)
    December 13, 2006 at 5:10 pm #

    all this is ridiculous. i love how we spend money on getting people to quit and help teens avoid drugs yet when a tobacco farmers crop fails we pay him too..

    another thing i find quite funny is how phillip morris has like a whole site dedicated to help people quit and shows those commercials and stuff. yet every day they continue to sell drugs..
    is it just me or is that a little absurd?

  13. Naiah Earhart
    December 14, 2006 at 10:21 am #

    That’s the thing, Parker; it is absurd! There’s a lot in our society that makes no sense, and if you ask me just shouldn’t be there, but for the ‘almighty dollar’ that drives it.

    Corporations, as they are currently structured, are pretty amoral constructs. First of all, they remove liability from the people themselves to the corporation. Remove liability and you also remove moral accountability.

    There is still an accountability for the board of directors, but it is not to God, the government, or society at large; it is to its shareholders. For real. The responsibility of the board, for which boards are held liable, is to make the decisions that will make their shareholders the most dollars–end of story.

    Profit-driven amoral decisionmaking in the hands of men and women in command of billions of dollars’ worth of the marketing machine…think on that long enough and it’ll make your blood run cold.

  14. Curtis
    December 14, 2006 at 11:20 am #

    These are what the current day secret combinations are all about folks. And the wall-street connection is how many of us become card-carrying members of the Gadianton Society.

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