Big Beach Butts!

in General Discussion edited January 2014
No Smoking at the Beach

I'll admit upfront that I have a clear bias against smoking. I find it an terrible habit that, especially as fewer and fewer people do it (the article mentions only 17% of Californians smoke) becomes harder and harder to tolerate with regard to the people who do smoke.

However regardless of whether I can tolerate the actual habit, the trash related to it has always bothered me even more. The little butts that litter the ground are unsightly, and gross. I remember when I visited New York City, I found it a truly beautiful place, but just couldn't stand the huge number of butts from the large number of smokers there. (social smokers seems to be much more of an East Coast thing especially)

Now this article mentions this about the beach clean ups...


After a routine beach cleanup produced 6,300 butts in one hour at the 1.5-mile-long Solana Beach, the group took a tub of cigarette refuse to city hall. They filmed interviews of residents, 91 percent of whom approved the ban. Partnering with the American Heart Association and the Surfrider's Foundation, they barraged city hall with testimonies and requests for action.

Months later, a more formal Solana Beach cleanup event still garnered 230 pounds of refuse, 60 percent of which consisted of wet cigarette butts. It was a wake-up call for the tiny beachfront town from both quality-of-life and legal standpoints. "We are required by federal and state laws to keep water and beaches clean, so this really got the attention of everyone in government," says Matt Rodriguez, assistant city manager at Solana Beach. Cigarette butts do not biodegrade, and they contain 200 known poisons, 63 of which are shown to cause cancer. The city council passed the ban unanimously and has reported no formal resistance or complaints since.

Do you think it fair or right that they ban smoking at public beaches? It seems fair to me since it appears that 60% of the trash is being generated by the actions of only 17% of the people. It also mentions the whole non-biodegradeable nature of the butts and the large number as a result.

Are the smoking nazi's (myself likely included in that remark) taking away basic freedoms? Is the majority running over the minority? Is this a personal freedom issue being disguised as a health/environmental issue to gain control over it? (ala suing fast food)




  • Reply 1 of 26
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    I agree with that. I don't care if people smoke. I really hate the mess. Next time you're sitting in your car waiting for a left turn signal ... look down.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    People who just randomly drop their trash should be made to do 60 days of community service cleanup along every state highway and mall parking lot in their area. Assholes.

    I remember seeing these two redneck chics driving along a few years ago... we're on a four lane highway with stop lights. They pull up to the light, open their window and just drop a huge bag of McDonald's refuse onto the road. Friggin scumbags, these people are.
  • Reply 3 of 26
    mellomello Posts: 555member
    It's amazing how lazy some people are! I was waiting at a stop light & the

    woman in front of me dumped her ashtray of butts right out her window! It's

    almost as bad as dog owners that won't pick up their dog's crap. I live in an

    apartment building that my family owns & I maintain. During the spring &

    summer I will catch a dog owner at least twice a month when I come home

    at night.

    That's their thing, they will do it in the cover of darkness to reduce their

    chances of getting caught. I caught one woman dead to rights & she

    completely denied it even while the dog was still crapping! I guess her

    reasoning is that if she is not looking at her dog, then it didn't happen.

    (Sorry about going off in a different tanget but man does that piss me off!)
  • Reply 4 of 26
    billybobskybillybobsky Posts: 1,914member
    it is a big problem in the south where the endangered key deer are naturally addicted to tobacco and will do whatever it takes to get to it even walking out on highways to eat the cigarettes.
  • Reply 5 of 26
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    Hehe. That is both funny and sad. I'm confused.
  • Reply 6 of 26
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    I have an uncle who's almost as bad.

    Seriously, I think it's GREAT. When I see some douchebag dropping a butt I feel like ramming it down their throat. The fine for disobeying this should be like $500.
  • Reply 7 of 26
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    If the police would actually *enforce* the laws on the books...

    In most places, littering is a fine.

    Tossing out *burning* refuse is a *huge* fine, like 1k$ where I come from. (Eastern WA state - very dry, high risk of fires.)

    So I say slap them with the current laws. You toss down a butt, you get a littering fine. Period. You toss down a *smoldering* butt, you can kiss your $ goodbye... which is as it should be. This isn't 'targeting' smokers (the poor, poor dears), but treating them *equally under the law*, which, last I heard, was the big beef about banning smoking. "We're getting treated differently!" Well, now you're not.

    Can you imagine the uproar though? Sad that most smokers would cringe at tossing an apple core out the window, but a lit butt they've got zero problem with. Totally asinine, in my opinion.

    But I'm a non-smoker, so that's not worth much, of course.
  • Reply 8 of 26
    dmband0026dmband0026 Posts: 2,345member
    Not only should people who toss their butts anywhere be fined $1,000+, we should cover the floor of their house with butts, see how they like it. Those morons need to respect the environment as well as everyone else. Butts are ugly, I love seeing them when I'm out on a trail in the woods on my bike. It's ridiculous.
  • Reply 9 of 26
    What they have to do is stop putting sand in those outdoor ashtrays (like the ones outside office buildings) for people to butt out in.

    Obviously people can't tell the difference between a bowl-sized 'official' sand-filled ashtray and a beach-sized one.
  • Reply 10 of 26
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    i'm all for stopping the littering on beaches, but i'm dead set against making new laws to do it.

    the laws necessary are already in place to put and end to people throwing away butts. just enforce those laws.

    hell, police precincts could make a killing the first few months they enforced this rule. eventually i bet it would stick that this is not going to be tolerated.
  • Reply 11 of 26
    burningwheelburningwheel Posts: 1,827member
    the thing i don't understand is that throwing yout butts on the ground is littering. i thought littering was illegal

    smoking should be banned on beaches until people can learn to discard their smokes in the trash, but that will never happen because people only think about themselves in general

    do people think theirs butts are biodegradable? i'm confused and appalled how shelfish people are. from my experience smokers are selfish

    the other think is, i experimented with smoking as a youth, i didn't get addicted. i sometimes think that that is a cop out saying it's addictive

    can you tell i'm anti-smoking?

  • Reply 12 of 26
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    Cigarettes are a disgusting nuisance.
  • Reply 13 of 26
    shawnjshawnj Posts: 6,656member
    For me the worst is when some asshole flicks a cigarette out the window of his vehicle and it hits my car. It's definitely incited some road rage on my part.\ I think we should do whatever it takes to reduce the number of smokers in this country- if that means a total ban then I'm all for it. Society just pays too much in smoking-related costs to justify its legality. That would probably mean a government-funded patch and chew program to ween current smokers from their addiction and possibly a prescription nicotine program for those incapable of escaping addiction. But the costs in the short run undoubtedly outweigh the costs in the long run. And no- it's not like prohibition because alcohol can be consumed in moderation with no negative side-effects- in fact it could be healthy. Tobacco products on the other hand cannot-for individuals and for society...
  • Reply 14 of 26
    rick1138rick1138 Posts: 938member
    Yeah, I like the idea of banning smoking on the beach. I live at the beach, and I find the hundreds of butts that can be seen on the beach on any given day to be obnoxious. I live at the beach and visit it nearly every day. Another thing is that if somone is smoking upwind the smokes blows in your face, which is contrary to the reasons I go to the beach. One time last summer some people sat next to me and started smoking, so I moved upwind of them - and they got pissed off at me - I asked them to do nothing - they started giving me the finger, calling me a smoke Nazi, and yelling "Ban Ruth Ann". (Ruth Ann is Ruth Ann Minner, the governor of Delaware who banned smoking).
  • Reply 15 of 26
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    The point is that there's no *need* to ban smoking on the beach to help prevent the butt litter... just enforce the laws *already on the books*.

    Everytime someone gets a bee up their butt in this country, they want to make ANOTHER law without checking to see if maybe, just *MAYBE* it's already covered, and they just need to *enforce* them?

    Every time we add another law to the books, we lock ourselves further into a legal system that is at the mercy of the legislature and the lawyers, and move further away from a government by, for, and of the people.

    Enforce littering laws. Period. At *most* clarify the littering laws to include cigarette butts explicitly. But a *new law*? Not needed.
  • Reply 16 of 26
    rick1138rick1138 Posts: 938member
    Smoking on the beach is not covered by existing laws, littering is, they are two issues.
  • Reply 17 of 26
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    The point is that there's no *need* to ban smoking on the beach to help prevent the butt litter...

    Note context.

    Banning smoking for other reasons is entirely different, and not the topic originally posted at the beginning of this thread.
  • Reply 18 of 26
    crusadercrusader Posts: 1,129member
    Hmm, I was expecting some pics of nice beach chicks

    As long as we are on the topic of smokers, nothing pisses me off more than smokers who flick out their butts out the damn car, which causes them to fly back ending up on the hood of my car, fuxing up my new wax job. Grrr
  • Reply 19 of 26
    709709 Posts: 2,016member

    Originally posted by trumptman

    Do you think it fair or right that they ban smoking at public beaches? It seems fair to me since it appears that 60% of the trash is being generated by the actions of only 17% of the people. It also mentions the whole non-biodegradeable nature of the butts and the large number as a result.



    Well, being a hardcore smoker I don't think it's fair to just completely ban smoking at the beaches...but I'd be all for a hefty fine for the dumbasses that litter the beach with their dead butts.

    Smoke a cig....tear off the end....put the butt in you pack to dispose of later.

    How hard is that?

    The truly sad thing is that when most people (other smokers) see me do this (ie: everywhere outside) they say "What are you doing? Just toss it". Again, education is key. Not Draconian laws or MABOB (Mothers Against Butts On Beach).
  • Reply 20 of 26
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Hey you can smoke near me, as long as you do it in a plastic bag.
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