The Costs of Cigarette Litter


Cigarettes are not just costly to society when they are smoked. As litter they cost taxpayers billions every year.

Local governments are particularly hardhit by the costs of cleaning up cigarette litter, the most abundant type of litter. Efforts to reduce and cleanup cigarette pollution and litter are resulting in significant new costs for public agencies and taxpayers. Public agencies in California are already spending hundreds of millions of dollars annually on litter cleanup. Residents of areas with federally-deemed impaired waterways, such as the LA River, pay billions to meet Total Maximum Daily Loads for trash. Indeed local officials have estimated complying with TMDL requirements could cost a total of $23 billion.

On top of the costs of litter abatement, fires caused by discarded cigarettes result in billions of damages, as well as the destruction of human life, wildlife, and entire ecosystems. It is hard to imagine a more menacing litter culprit than the cigarette butt.

What Can You Do to Help End the Cigarette Litter Crisis:

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