Every year during the annual International Coastal Cleanup, volunteers from around the world help pick up trash and clean up coastlines and waterways. The number one most commonly found item is the cigarette butt.
Recently, the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) jointly released a new series of anti-tobacco television advertisements. While continuing to educate Californians about the tobacco industry, current smoking trends, and the importance of quitting smoking, these ads are also highlighting the environmental impacts of cigarette butts.
CDPH Director Dr. Mark Horton stated,
"California is proud, once again, to be a national leader in the fight against tobacco use and addiction, and is launching a new strategy--focusing attention on the degradation of the environment caused by discarded cigarette butts."
Over 100 million pounds of cigarette butts are thrown away annually in the United States. Cigarette butts do not biodegrade because they are made of a plastic known as cellulose acetate. The toxic chemicals found in used cigarettes can make their way into the environment after the cigarette butts are discarded.
Read more about the ads and California's Tobacco Control Program here.