While I’m thinking about it: a message to smokers


Hey, smokers, if I could have your attention for a moment, I’ll keep this brief.

Cigarette butts? Those are trash. Litter. Seriously, you shouldn’t be just throwing them anywhere. They should be actually thrown out, after being put out. You wouldn’t toss a candy wrapper or banana peel on the sidewalk, would you? (I hope not)

Many years ago when I first moved to Seattle, I had a joe job that required me to sweep up the sidewalks out front every day. At one point I had a discussion with my co-workers while they were on a smoke break, and I told them: “You know how those butts you drop are magically gone the next day? Well, it ain’t magic.”

So! Let’s keep in mind that butts are trash and should be disposed of like trash. Thanks!

6 thoughts on “While I’m thinking about it: a message to smokers

  1. Shecky

    On a related note, I think it would be wonderful if cities took Montreal’s lead and placed actual “ashtray” boxes (where you could actually extinguish your cigarette AND drop it where it won’t catch trash on fire) where people could find them.

  2. Yes, that would be nice, but I notice that smokers become extra concerned about fire when trash cans are involved. When it’s just pitching a butt out the window of a moving car, onto someone’s lawn, or wherever, it doesn’t seem to be much of a concern.

  3. Shecky

    That’s where this comes in. With a valid, non-flammable place to drop their cigarettes, smokers are less apt to chuck ’em on the asphalt or concrete (under the notion that those aren’t flammable but ignoring the fact that so many non-smokers can’t be bothered to find a trash can for their NON-flammable trash and therefore leave lots of flammable stuff lying around). Personally, I’ve never understood the need to throw them out the car window – it’s not like it’s that difficult to get a snuffer ashtray that fits in a drink holder. That one I’ll chalk up to typical human don’t-give-a-shitness. :/

    The Montreal butt box (sorry, I amuse myself with that phrase) at least makes it SOMEwhat more attractive to dispose of a cigarette properly. Seemed to work; when I was there, I saw a lot of smokers but shockingly few butts on the street/sidewalk. I’m sure the fact that they’re neater there helps, too. :D

  4. Mari

    They try to discourage smoking here in California by making really crappy smoking areas and/or not providing trashcans with the little ashtrays on top but, it totally doesn’t work. When I was a smoker, I didn’t realize how different I was that I actually made a point to walk to a trashcan (no matter how far it was) and threw the butt away properly until my actor friends started teasing me how lame it was. I just laughed, then promptly quit. Thank you peers for reminding me that smoking is supposed to be cool the entire time, not part of the time LOL ;)

  5. Neerdowell

    That, and listening to entitled smokers voice self-appointed breaks.

    The only people who talk about breaks more often than smokers are grocery store clerks.

    “Did you have your break? Sara had her break. I haven’t had a break for 2 hours…”

    Anyways, I traded in my cigarettes for caffeine. Maybe I’m still sensitive.

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