California: unfiltered

Sydde

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 17, 2009
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Bill seeks filtered cigarette ban to reduce litter
[url=http://www.kcet.org/news/redefine/rewild/legislation/new-wildlife-protection-law-would-ban-the-butt.html]Chris Clarke – KCET[/url] said:
Citing the immense damage to wildlife and public health caused by discarded cigarette filters, a California legislator is seeking to ban sales of filter-tipped cigarettes in the state. Assembly Bill 1504, introduced this week by Monterey-area Assemblymember Mark Stone, would make it illegal to sell or give away filtered cigarettes in California, with a relatively stiff fine attached for each violation.... Worldwide, it's estimated that 845,000 tons of cigarette butts are improperly discarded each year, with something like three billion tossed aside just in the San Francisco Bay Area each year. And as most such filters aren't rapidly biodegradable, the butts pose a long-term threat to wild animals and small children who ingest them.

The bill would make it illegal to sell, give away, or order any cigarettes with "single-use" filters in the state, with fines of $500 for each violation. (A single violation is defined as up to 20 cigarettes, so that selling a pack or giving a stranger a single cigarette would both merit $500 fines.) If passed, though unlikely, the law would force smokers to use non-filtered cigarettes or carry around and use a reusable filter.
...

Though one might reasonably ask whether banning filtered cigarettes poses a risk to smokers, the consensus among public health scientists is that filters don't appreciably reduce the amount of tar, nicotine, or particulate matter that smokers inhale. American tobacco companies have been forbidden to suggest that filters reduce the risk of smoking since 2006.... But the filters persist on cigarettes, mainly because smokers think they're safer.
...

It'll be interesting to watch the reaction to the bill from the tobacco lobby. The three billion cigarette butts discarded yearly in the San Francisco Bay Area, after all, translate to more than a billion dollars in retail sales.
The problem is, there are scores of Native American smokeshops where a smoker might still be able to get filter-tipped cigarettes. Could the Ag border stations be expanded to prevent all illegal cigarettes from ever entering the state?
 

Tomorrow

macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
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Always a day away
I'm not a smoker, but if you buy a non-filtered cigarette, do you smoke the entire thing? Do you end up needing an alligator clip or something to hold the tiny little end of it as it burns down? Seems like there might still end up being something that needs to be thrown away in the end after all.
 

lannister80

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2009
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Chicagoland
The main problem with cigarette butts is that they're not biodegradable. The filter is made of very finely spun plastic fibers.

Could they be replaced with something biodegradable? To me, that would solve the problem.
 

Sydde

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 17, 2009
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Remember, filters are there to catch the bad stuff, they become saturated with it. Part of the problem is animals eating them, so unless you design a filter that disintegrates almost immediately, just making them biodegradable will not fix the problem.
 

jnpy!$4g3cwk

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2010
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The main problem with cigarette butts is that they're not biodegradable. The filter is made of very finely spun plastic fibers.

Could they be replaced with something biodegradable? To me, that would solve the problem.
I was thinking that they should use something edible. Then the smoker could just eat the filter and keep "smoking" for the next hour.
 

lannister80

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2009
476
17
Chicagoland
Remember, filters are there to catch the bad stuff, they become saturated with it. Part of the problem is animals eating them, so unless you design a filter that disintegrates almost immediately, just making them biodegradable will not fix the problem.
Do animals actually frequently eat butts/filters? I didn't know that was an issue.

I know birds will use them to make nests (all those fuzzy fibers), and the nicotine actually keeps parasites/mites away.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/culturing-science/2012/12/04/cigarette-butts-in-nests-deter-bird-parasites/
 

lostngone

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2003
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Anchorage
This is just the anti-smoking groups trying to make it more difficult for the smokers.

Here is an idea, go after the people that are littering. Almost everyday I see someone throwing a cigarette-butt out the window when I am driving. I also like the idea of making the filters biodegradable.
 

Renzatic

Suspended
Here is an idea, go after the people that are littering. Almost everyday I see someone throwing a cigarette-butt out the window when I am driving. I also like the idea of making the filters biodegradable.
As a begrudging smoker who tries not to throw his butts out the window or on the sidewalk, I think that's the way it should be done, too. People are gonna do it regardless, so instead of banning them outright, why not make it so they're not quite so (potentially) destructive to the environment.

...or maybe Jnpy's suggestion to make them edible would work. But I dunno. I think that'd taste really, really bad.
 

VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
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Why not just ticket people for littering?

In any case, if you want to see what damage the crude in a few cigarette filters can do, put a few in water and then use that water on a plant (hint: don't this this on a plant that you like).
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
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This is just the anti-smoking groups trying to make it more difficult for the smokers.

Here is an idea, go after the people that are littering. Almost everyday I see someone throwing a cigarette-butt out the window when I am driving. I also like the idea of making the filters biodegradable.
It is difficult to catch them all, because it's not like they do it right in front of a cop. When smoking in public was more prevalent, many shops, restaurants, and places of business in general had receptacles for cigarette butts right beside the trashcans. They should have been made biodegradable years ago. The same goes for things like shopping bags and plastic wrap, although that has started to happen in recent years.
 

citizenzen

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2010
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It is difficult to catch them all, because it's not like they do it right in front of a cop.
Exactly. Does anyone really expect in this era when localities are strapped for cash that they have the luxury of devoting budget to catch people illegally disposing the cigarette butts?
 

lostngone

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2003
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It is difficult to catch them all, because it's not like they do it right in front of a cop. When smoking in public was more prevalent, many shops, restaurants, and places of business in general had receptacles for cigarette butts right beside the trashcans.
So we should make it more difficult for everyone else because the police won't or can't do their jobs? In some places it is a $2000 fine for littering.


They should have been made biodegradable years ago. The same goes for things like shopping bags and plastic wrap, although that has started to happen in recent years.
We had biodegradable shopping bags for decades Until they complained we were killing to many trees and we switched to plastic.
 
Last edited:

0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
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Exactly. Does anyone really expect in this era when localities are strapped for cash that they have the luxury of devoting budget to catch people illegally disposing the cigarette butts?
A lot of the fines are high enough that I'm somewhat surprised they aren't doing this already for fundraising purposes.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
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So we should make it more difficult for everyone else because the police won't or can't do their jobs? In some places it is a $2000 fine for littering.
You are correct regarding the fines. When it comes to enforcement, littering is not something where the police are likely to show up and investigate. Catching someone littering under most circumstances relies on the cop being within visible range at the time a person discards their trash. I wasn't actually arguing that this was the best possible way to address it, just that it's not possible to staff in a way that catches the majority of those who litter. The other comment was to point out that there used to public places to properly extinguish and dispose of cigarette butts.


We had biodegradable shopping bags for decades Until they complained we were killing to many trees and we switched to plastic.
I meant in terms of plastic ones. Reusable bags are really ideal though.
 

citizenzen

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2010
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So we should make it more difficult for everyone else because the police won't or can't do their jobs? In some places it is a $2000 fine for littering.
You keep surprising me.

I didn't have you pegged as one who supported bigger government ... especially one funded by heavy-handed law enforcement.
 

sviato

macrumors 68020
Oct 27, 2010
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HR 9038 A
You want to make the filters out of hemp? Great idea, except then we have a problem with the stoners throwing the tobacco out... :D
That's not how it works.


Anyways, an issue with hemp is that you can't grow it in the States as far as I know.
 

iJohnHenry

macrumors P6
Mar 22, 2008
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You want to make the filters out of hemp? Great idea, except then we have a problem with the stoners throwing the tobacco out... :D
It's biodegradable, so I answered the current question.

One step at a time. ;)

Anyways, an issue with hemp is that you can't grow it in the States as far as I know.
"Paranoia runs deep, into your life it will creep." ;)

Hemp has been used for many things over the centuries, but all that matter not if people can light-up and drop out.

Nose to the grindstone kiddies.