The problem with cigarettes

Dear Editor:Thanks to The Downey Patriot for an excellent article ("Downey has 10K Smokers, Claims Report," 6/24/10). Another negative to smoking, besides killing yourself, is the addition to our trash problems and degrading our environment. Filters on cigarettes are not biodegradable; they last forever. On Keep Downey Beautiful cleanups we see many discarded cigarettes in cracks of the blacktop, in gutters and along sidewalks. This is a major trash problem since they are small and difficult to see yet easily float to the surface of rain or irrigation water then directly through the storm drains to trash the ocean. During World War II carelessly discarding a cigarette on the parade grounds of boot camp was grounds for tough disciplinary action such as long hours at KP (kitchen police), added guard duty or, at worse, time in the stockade or brig. Do it once and you'd never do it again. Smokers field-striped their cigarettes by carefully tearing the paper, distributing the tobacco on the ground, then rolling the remaining paper into a tight little ball before discarding. That was the technique in the old days before filters were added. Now it is better to carry the discarded cigarette in a small packet or in the pack of smokes then discard it in the nearest trash can. Try it; you'll like it! - Byron Dillon, Committee Member, Keep Downey Beautiful

********** Published: July 1, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 11