Nov 30 2008
Cigarette Butt Pollution

I read with great interest the story by David Lazarus in the LA Times Nov 30, 2008.
The column titled “Fuming over cigarette butts” presents some very interesting facts.

1. Cigarette butts account for 1/3 of all litter in the US!
2. Los Angeles County Dept of Public Works estimates 600, 000 butts are dropped on the ground every month in the LA County area, which translates to over 7 million butts in a year!
3. Cigarette butts are the number 1 item picked up at beach cleanups.
4. 370 billion filtered cigarrettes are smoked every year in the US.
5. #4 results in about 135 million pounds of butts polluting
6. Worldwide 5 trillion cigarettes consumed equal about 2 billion pounds of butts.

Two ideas presented which I would support.
1. Charge a deposit on cigarettes, $1 per pack which would be returned upon returning the used butts.
2. Eliminate the filters which would solve the problem, and as a side benefit probably help get some smokers to stop, because of how strong cigarettes can be without the filter.

You can read the column here:,0,679460.column
Be sure to vote too, here’s the results of the voting so far:
Would you support a $1 deposit fee for cigarette butts?
76.8 %
Absolutely. Anything to encourage smokers to clean up after themselves.

7.4 %
Perhaps, or maybe just placing more ashtrays around town.

15.9 %
No. Leave smokers alone.

637 total responses

Email David at

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