Butts on the Beach

I’ve been to a lot of beaches – across the US, on islands, Japan, and Central America. All them have one interesting commonality – butts, cigarette butts, and a lot of them. Its fascinating (and frustrating), to watch a smoker with little or no thought simply toss their cigarette butt on the beaccigarette 1h, but at the same moment put their sandwich bag and other trash into their cooler and simply walk off.

How did it become such a habit to toss that remaining half-inch of carcinogenic addiction toward the ground? They (smokers) almost all universally do the same thing. I decided to write this blog today because I was at a stop light and just happened to look over toward a patch of gravel and grass and there were hundreds of butts on the ground. Their damn ash tray is anywhere they stop! And that’s when it struck me, the world is the smokers ash tray, they really don’t seem to care who has to clean up after them, how the butts affect the ecology, if animals ingest them by accident or that someone else might be sitting on the sand next to their addiction excrement.

There was this one time on Maui when my wife and I were in Lahaina walking the boardwalk and this woman, smoking up a storm cloud, was next to us watching the sun set.  Just as the sun was going down she exclaims, “my God its so beautiful,” at which point she pulls the cigarette out of her mouth and tosses it to the beach below the boardwalk  and starts snapping photos.  I gave her this perplexed look of, “are you kidding?”  She looked at me like I was invading her space, turned and walked away.  If only Maui had a $500 fine for tossing foreign material onto public beaches.  Hmmm, not a bad idea, perhaps a letter to Maui’s mayor.  I’m at a loss on how to change this absurd and selfish behavior.  Perhaps its time to design a new T-shirt.

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One Response to Butts on the Beach

  1. Nearly everyone I know smokes, unless they have a serious medical condition and the brains to know smoking will kill them faster. Every single one of them does exactly what you are speaking of. When I am in and automobile I always see them throwing their butts out the window, and I continuously yell at them. They never learn, and I fear they haven’t the mental capacity to realize the effects of that in which they are doing. Even my mother, a lover of nature and photographer, discards her butts without thinking. I am living with my Girlfriend at her Grandparents house (Long story, I could have my own place, but it is so much cheaper to live there, they are very young and active, I can actually have a conversation with them, and they need the extra money from my rent to catch up on bills, they just got out of a foreclosure and bankruptcy)with my best friend. My Girlfriend, her Grandfather, and my best friend all smoke. Her Grandmother has COPD, I believe, and sleep apnea as well as many other lung problems in which forced her to quit smoking. Nevertheless she has an oxygen tank in the house, and smoke bothers her, so everyone has to smoke outside or out the patio door of the kitchen. I was shocked and disgusted when the snow finally melted this past winter at the hundreds, if not thousands, of cigarette butts littering the ground outside every doorway. It was nearly enough to make me gag. If you decide to make a shirt that can convey the destructiveness, disgusting, dangerousness, and or the illegality of randomly discarding cigarette butts I would be very interested in ordering one. Perhaps several in several colors to wear constantly until I get the point across to everyone I know, and hopefully anyone I come in contact with.

    Thank you for your time,
    Kyle Ryan Toth

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