Voice of Nature

Cigarette Butts And The Pollution They Cause


A lot of smokers wouldn’t even realize that the harm they are causing is greater than just air pollution. The cigarette butts that they discard are also polluting the land and water. Cigarette butts are one of the most littered things on Earth. It’s just shocking to hear that 5 trillion cigarette butts are thrown into the environment every year. 

A cigarette butt is the part left of a cigarette after one smokes it. The cigarette butt cannot be smoked as it contains fibers that help stop the nicotine and a lot of other toxins from going into one’s body.

How Cigarette Butts are Harmful to Nature? 

Cigarette butts have a white part which is basically a type of plastic called cellulose acetate. This plastic is very harmful to the environment as it also degrades very slowly. It contains arsenic and leads the highest harmful ones which poison the land along with the water and kill any fish or animal that ingests it.

What Cigarette Butts Do To Water?

When a cigarette butt is thrown in water or even on land and it travels to any water source then the traces of nicotine present in the final part of the cigarette is more harmful to the environment than the cigarette itself. This tiny amount of nicotine affects the body in a tremendous way.

There are other threats posed by the disposal of these cigarette butts, most people who are driving and smoking are known to throw their cigarette outside the vehicle and sometimes this cig can start fires. Every year a huge number of fires caused are due to the cigarette butt not being lit off. Smokers when asked if they knew about all the menaces caused by cigarette butt commented that they had absolutely no clue about the immense harmful effects.

What Actually Happens to the Cigarette Butt Once Disposed of?

The cigarette butt doesn’t decompose by itself on land, it isn’t biodegradable but within a few years of being discarded depending on the weather conditions, it is said to breakdown slowly. The most shocking fact that we are unaware of is that each cigarette butt may take 10 years to discompose.