Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Environmental Costs of Cigarettes

I saw a very effective public service announcement the other night on television, sponsored by TobaccoFreeCA.  The ad did not focus on the health consequences of smoking, but rather the emphasis was on environmental costs of the habit.

Here are a few alarming facts*:
  • In 2005, an estimated 135 million pounds of cigarette butts were dumped into the U.S. environment
  • Butts are the most common toxic waste, are the number one item found on California highways and account for 34% of all waste captured in the state
  • Butts never completely decompose, and the toxic chemicals are a threat to aquatic ecosystems, and
  • It is estimated that one tree is used to produce only 300 cigarettes. 
Smoking is of course a very personal choice. It is worth thinking, however, of some of the incidental impacts of the activity.

To view the ad, entitled "Thrown Away", click here.

*Reference sources can be found here.