So, as you can imagine, I am firmly against smoking now, if I wasn't before. What I have never really considered though is the effects of the cigarette butts on the environment. I learned today that it takes cigarette butts 10 to 12 years to break down in landfills. All the while, the toxic chemicals are seeping into our earth.
Of course, not all butts make it to a landfill. While reading more about it, I learned that the littering of cigarette butts anywhere and everywhere has caused problems with kids ingesting these discarded butts, causing all kinds of health problems. I'm talking about the cigarettes flicked in the yards your kids play in, the beaches the gardens, the parks.
Now, I know people don't mean to hurt their children and that smoking is a true addiction that is not easy to quit. I'm not wanting to preach, though I easily could. Instead, I want to inform because this is something you probably don't think about.
I know a lot of places are trying to put out the receptacles to help contain the waste. I'm not sure if that's helpful or not, as far as on the whole; but it does keep them out of the hands of our kids and let's us pretend we have a cleaner earth.
Of course, none of this even touches on what the actual smoke does to the environment, but I'm sure we all have heard that plenty of times before.
I will say this though, if you're a smoker who doesn't care what you're doing to yourself, that's fine. Maybe you scoff at the word cancer, telling yourself "it could come from anything", "they don't know it's smoking", you had an uncle die from cancer who "never smoked a day in his life". Fine, whatever, but please consider that what you do does effect others. I guarantee that if your spouse gets cancer, or your child (God forbid) and you have to watch the person you love the most in this world waste away and die a very painful death, you're gonna have to wonder.
It's not just smokers either, it's all of us. What we do to the environment now will effect the quality of our children's, and our children's children's lives.