While decomposing, cigarette butts release toxins like nicotine and tar into the environment. Cigarettes are the most frequently littered item in the world with estimates of several trillion littered worldwide each year. Each littered butt holds a small amount of toxic residue trapped in the filter. Studies have shown that these toxins leak back into the environment after wind and rain carry them into streams, rivers and other bodies of water. Littered cigarette butts also cause numerous fires every year, some of which are fatal and most of which involve costly property and environmental damage.
If aesthetic and environmental health concerns will not compel smokers to walk those extra few steps to the trashcans, perhaps money and numbers can offer a more persuasive argument. In America an average of 176,000,000 pounds of butts wind up on the