Musings and Rants:
A Rant
Second in a series

Smokers should remember to stamp out their cigarette butts

The other day I saw a person smoking outside a building. When he finished smoking, he flung the remainder of the cigarette into a trash can, still lit.

I was appalled by his lack of consideration, not to mention his absence of common sense. But look around today. Many smokers do not dispose of their butts responsibly. In fact, it's more common for smokers to behave irresponsibly.

What happened? When I was growing up, cigarette smoking had a particular etiquette. When done smoking, smokers would throw down their butts down by their feet, whereupon they would stamp out the lit cigarette with a firm twist of their toe. What happened to this etiquette?

While throwing trash on the ground, in my opinon, is still littering, at least the cigarette butts would no longer the capacity to directly cause harm. Too often nowadays, the butt remains lit. At the worst it is a potential fire hazard, and at the best it still smolders, releasing its carcinogens into the air. Perhaps this behavior is due to the lack of appropriate disposal devices (e.g., ashtrays).

If you're a cigarette smoker, please have the decency to make sure that nobody else is harmed by your actions. That means blow your smoke away from other people and stamp out your butts. Thanks.

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Page last updated: 18 June 2003
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