Smoking seems like an illogical thing to do if you ask me. If it were invented today it would most likely be declared illegal because it’s addictive, expensive, and harmful not only to those who choose to do it, but also the people around them. 11,000 people die each day because of tobacco related illnesses yet despite the overwhelming evidence proving that smoking is just a flat out stupid thing to do, people still take up the habit.

Smokers become immune to the fact that their clothes, their home, and their breath whiffs of stale cigarette smoke which is about as appealing as warm cup of out of date milk. But perhaps by similar programming non-smokers have also managed to develop an immunity to the downsides of smoking. This is never more evident than when one kisses a smoker and enjoys doing so despite the fact that such an activity is comparable to licking an ashtray.

I’ve got nothing against people who smoke. I even enjoy the occasional cigar myself from time to time (though actually inhaling the smoke would send me into convolutions). But there is one thing about smokers which I simply can’t abide. I’ll put up with breathing their second hand smoke, I’ll look past their stained teeth, I’ll ignore the illogical nature of their addiction, but I can’t excuse their propensity to discard that cigarette butt as if it will simply evaporate the moment it leaves their smoke stained finger tips.

It might sound petty, but this subject is at the centre of an ongoing dispute with me and the hairdressers who work in the shop below my apartment. At intervals throughout the day they stand by our shared back door and replenish their addiction before flicking away the cigarette butt without so much of second thought or pang of guilt for their blatant littering.

Even more annoying is the fact that despite the unsightly collection of soggy butts the girls deny all responsibility. If pressed by their boss to stop this antisocial behaviour they simply take to flicking the butts over the neighbors fence as if that is a fitting remedy to the problem.

When I caught one of the girls flicking her filter to the ground a few weeks back she exclaimed it was “no big deal.” “How would you like it if I came to your house and did that?” I asked. “I wouldn’t care.” She announced with the flippancy you might expect from a not especially bright girl barely out of her teenage years.

Knowing my position on the environment one of the girls informed me that disposing of their filters in this way was okay because the filters themselves were biodegradable. However filters are not biodegradable at all as they are made from plastic (acetate), though she refused to accept this fact even when presented with evidence.

But even if the filters were biodegradable my annoyance at their inconsiderate disposal on what is my doorstep is not diminished. None of the girls would consider tossing a drinks can to the ground in our shared yard so how then does a smoker conclude that disposing a butt in that way is any less unacceptable.

It is of course unfair to suggest that those who smoke are perhaps not as intellectually complete as those who don’t. But exactly how stupid does one have to be to consider that inhaling smoke through a plastic filter laced in toxins is a good idea in the first place?
Litter Butt
4.5 trillion cigarette butts per year are littered in the USA.
Used cigarette butt for sale