Thursday, April 10, 2008


I'm wholeheartedly against smoking. Let's get that out there right now. It's a habit that sucks away years of your life, dollars out of your pocketbook, and the respect of those around you. It sounds harsh, but it's pretty true. I've always had a hard time hanging out with people who smoke, not so much because they do smoke, but because I can't stand being around second-hand smoke or talking to people who have gross smoker's breath.

Lately, I've noticed another thing that really irks me about smokers--their littering. Rarely do I see smokers putting their ash and cigarette butts into outdoor ashtrays. Instead they finish their smoke, tap off the ashes, and toss the butt to the ground. I can't stand seeing butts all over on the sidewalks. Apparently they don't think they're littering.

What's even more frustrating is that if I did something similar, like tossing a candy wrapper on the ground after I finished a Snickers, I'd get dirty looks from those around me and, if there was a cop present, might get a talking to or a ticket, especially if I was tossing the wrapper out of a car window. However, it's totally acceptable for a smoker to toss their butt out the window.

I wish I could understand the smoker's mindset. How do they figure that tossing their cigarette butt to the ground is any different than throwing any other piece of garbage out? Do they think it's ok because it is a small piece of garbage? Or one that will eventually get washed away with the rain and fall apart in the water?

Maybe they feel it's their way to get back at society for forcing them to smoke outdoors, at least 10 feet from any doors, freezing in the winter and sweating in the summer. We've forced them to not smoke in office buildings, stores, bars, clubs, and just about every indoor public place. No doubt the must feel ostracized... but why should they? They've got a habit that produces secondhand smoke that injures those around them. They should be outside, away from those who might care about their health.

Regardless, smokers need to take notice that their butts are garbage and should be treated as such. Go find a frickin' outdoor ashtray and stop littering.

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