Butts...

@dodoguy (1297)
Australia
January 12, 2008 10:58pm CST
Hi people, I'm curious about why people who are habitual smokers seem to have a mindset that the butts are not rubbish, and just flick them onto the ground and then step on them as though that renders the used cigarette butt an inconspicuous part of the general terrain. It seems peculiar to me that anyone would adopt this frame of mind, yet nearly everyone I've ever seen who habitually smokes, also habitually litters the ground with their used butts, without even thinking about what they are doing. I don't see habitual coffee drinkers casually throwing their mugs onto the floor in the corner of the room. Nor do I see habitual gum chewers throwing their wrappers into the gutters - though I'll bet some do. But I've rarely seen a smoker that DOESN'T casually litter the street, garden, lawn or wherever he or she happens to be with their cigarette butts. Even people that are otherwise socially responsible and arguably quite intelligent, well-educated and law-abiding citizens. While any non-smoker will classify cigarette butts as noxious litter (and you can actually make a very effective pesticide by soaking cigarette butts in a jar of water overnight), for some strange reason nearly all smokers seem to have convinced themselves that cigarette butts aren't actually litter, to the point where they flick the things on the ground without any conscious awareness of what they are doing - a very well-practiced and habitual act, so you can be quite certain that many thousands of cigarette butts have become unsightly litter before that one which was just dropped and stamped on, for each and every smoker that does so. I'm hoping that it might be possible to get some insight into the frame of mind surrounding this practice, from the people that actually do it. Are they really not aware of what they are doing, or is there some perspective which argues that randomly tossed, highly toxic cigarette butts are an aesthetically acceptable part of the landscape?
6 people like this
3 responses
• United States
13 Jan 08
Being a smoker I can say that I am guilty of this. But it is only in certain situations. If I am walking somewhere, and there is nowhere to put my butt, I will flick it into the street, in the line of the gutter. This way it will be washed into it the next time it rains. I usually try to find an ash can, and will use it if one is available. I try not to flick it into the grass, because I know it will kill it if too many people do the same thing.
2 people like this
• United States
13 Jan 08
I'm bad about doing this too although I have recently tried to break myself from it. If I can find a can or something to put it out in I will, I also have a Pocket Ashtray that I try to remember to carry around with me so that I can put them out in it and empty them into a trash bin later on. But if I forget that then there are times when I just toss them on the ground and not think about how it is littering.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (87574)
• Marion, Kansas
12 Feb 08
I asked my mom about this, once, as she smoked, and I did not. Basically, when she started smoking, it was considered that this was good for the soil (!!??).Less fire danger, too!!! I did make it clear to all of my smoking relatives that at my house, in my yard, I wanted them to dispose of butts in the trash. I remember as a toddler chewing on filters and playing with them. I am aware that nicotine is a pesticide, and also, people who smoke should not handle tomato plants and some others because the nicotine in their system kills the plants. Interesting discussion.