1) The source of the data is cleanup on beaches, not ocean trash. If anything it's more likely to be representative of items discarded on beaches or waterways.
2) Cigarette butts are greatest purely in number of individual pieces, not in terms of weight or volume.
The following paper reports fishing nets to be the largest contributor to ocean plastic (by volume). Cigarette butts aren't even worthy of a mention in their report (see Supplementary Table 4 which lists the top 5 items per item size group).
I guess I understand it is a hard problem to calculate, but it is an area where I wish the approach was more reasoned and less governed by fad and hype. Sure clean and prevent straws and cigarette butts if that’s really a problem, but divvy our resources in proportion to where data says the issues are...
I'm not sure this is solvable, humans being what they are, and I don't think it's unique to environmental issues.
"issues misallocate their complaints, wrt the actual severity of polluters"
No need to be sarcastic.
Do you know if the report also broke down the rivers by size and waterfront population? IE, do the communities along those Asian rivers pollute more than those in the US or EU, or are they simply the largest rivers in the world by volume and/or local population?
(Yes, I know the Ganges in filthy)
So EU/US usually makes cleaner wastewater, but uses a lot more energy (so pollutes by CO2).
Manufacturing's externalities outsourcing is of course something that should be handled by import tariffs and supply chain verification.
The comment you respond to mentions fishing nets to be the biggest pollutant by volume (which is quite logical if one thinks about it). Obviously a marine source has incentive to highlight landbased sources such as rivers. If one hears about the most polluting river one is easily confused into thinking rivers are the biggest polluter. Also note the questions surrounding metric of river pollution (i.e. per capita pollution of rivers and so on ...)
Buying new fishing nets are quite expensive, and by experience, fishermen tend to spend a large part of the year repairing them. I wonder what the lost rate is per fisherman, national region, and caught fish.
No matter what value an article chooses to highlight they could have highlighted a different one. True... but so what?
Here I guess the root of your objection is that the article seems to conflate the ocean-sides with the entire ocean. That's fair: the article is really about ocean sides, but in a few places it refers generally to the ocean. It appears to be purposeful, too, since it's in the headline and lede while the rest of article is straight. Still, that the headline and lede is overly strong is, unfortunately, almost a universally applicable criticism these days. Headlines and ledes are written for attention-grabbing not accuracy. That's a problem not of individual articles, but of a system that lives on click-through.
A less superficial criticism would be to examine the degree to which the main point of the article -- that cigarette butt pollution is a problem that should be addressed -- is fair, or whether it's making this out to be a significantly more substantial problem than it really is. (Remember, the context here is activism to reduce pollution, where there was recently a lot of focus and traction on plastic drinking straws, for which there was some backlash, with people arguing that there was a lot of focus on a tiny part of the problem. So a really good question here is, is this just more plastic straw BS or is there a really issue here?)
And keep in mind that if cigarette butts are a coastal pollution problem it doesn't mean something else, like fishing nets in the ocean, isn't a problem.
Only if it cites a badly done statistic or misleads as to the statistic's conclusions, as this article does.
>No matter what value an article chooses to highlight they could have highlighted a different one. True... but so what?*
That's not the accusation here. It's that what they chose to highlight is not the most important pollutant of oceans by any reasonable metric. The purpose of citing a statistic in the first place is to consider things in their respective relevance.
Now, restricting this to the ocean side (which the article editors should have done already in their chosen title), it doesn't seem to be such a problem either (and I'm from a country where most smoke and has tons of beaches).
As a serious question, without judgment: are there any smokers on HN who can explain the phenomenon?
When I was much younger I believed that cigarette butts biodegraded in a couple years. No big deal, right? I distinctly remember reading this on a sign at a campsite when I was about 18. Turns out, that's an ideal scenario and butts can take up to 10 years to break down naturally, and even then various "degraded" toxins are still present in the environment indefinitely.
But that campsite sign was enough to fuel 15 years of cognitive dissonance that allowed me to toss butts on the ground like they were pieces of old lettuce.
That, and the mind-bending power of nicotine addiction, which is vastly more powerful than most people realize.
It reminds me of another recent act of my local government when they banned single use plastic bags. The supermarkets started selling ‘reusable’ plastic bags for about 25c each. Resulting in many people buying a new set of ‘reusable’ plastic bags each time they shop, and just throwing the heavier plastic bags away when they get home.
A fellow student, now leading IT department in a European airport, was visiting me and we were chatting outdoor, just nearby the little shop I was in to cash.
And then he lights a cig. I asked him if he was ok doing that in a gas station, and he responds me something like well, we are far enough (and that was true, but still)
And when he finished it, he dropped it on the ground and scratch it with is foot :
« You know I’m the one who’ll have to pick it to trash it, and then have to clean the black mark it leaved on the white cement, do you ? »
« Oops, sorry »
He is a person I respect for a lot of things, and one of the last friend from my student time.
But his smoking M.Hyde side never stops to puzzle me.
Yeah, in France we use the English word weekend (amongst a lot of other)
Since the rest of it (paper, tobacco, and ashes) is easily degradable, I think the natural assumption is the butt is degradable as well, and the notion that every other smoker seems to think so isn't helping.
So to answer the question: I suspect it's simply a lack of information. As a data point I'll add that I stopped deposing them right away a long time ago, because I suspected they might not be easily degradable, but this is actually the first time I've read this is the case.
If I'm correct I see no harm in correcting friends who smoke in their behaviour. They are simply unaware.
We're talking about cigarette smokers.
> While it was initially believed that CA was virtually non-biodegradable, it has been shown that after initial partial deacetylization the polymer's cellulose backbone is readily biodegraded by cellulase enzymes. In biologically highly active soil, CA fibers are completely destroyed after 4–9 months.
These are people who just don't give a shit about other people and only act like they care when it is convenient or necessary.
I know a couple of smokers that will make sure they have a place to dispose their butt after they are finished and I know some that will dispose them only when somebody is watching (yeah, we have windows in offices, too...)
Recently I was with a friend smoking on my porch and he flicked his butt into my front yard. There was an ashtray right next to him which he had used previously. He had also smoked on my porch a number of times before. He is liberal friend and pretty vocal about it though I don't recall him speaking much about environmental concerns.
I don't really have an explanation, my guess is that it's a number of factors. I would chalk the scenario on the porch up to muscle memory and possibly being lost in conversation. I think that the small size is the main thing. It is not acceptable to toss any sizable piece of garbage on the street.
Back in the 1990s, when smoking inside was still allowed, a bar in Finland had a problem with people tossing their cigarette butts to the wide urinal in mens' toilet. Of course it was constantly clogged.
Tired of the disgusting cleaning routine, the owners eventually found an approach that helped. They put a new plaque on the wall above the urinal: "If you piss cigarette butts, please consult your doctor."
In one focus group cited in industry documents, smokers said tossing their butts to the ground was “a natural extension of the defiant/rebellious smoking ritual.”
It comes from the same mindset as diesel truck owners rolling coal on cyclists and people in hybrid cars, and destruction of public property (park benches, trash cans and such).
Some people either just don't give a shit about other people, or are actively antagonistic.
What does this mean?
The intention is to "stick it to the environmentalists", by deliberately and visually polluting as much as possible, and by blowing this sooty smoke right at perceived environmentalists, ie. people on bicycles or in hybrid cars.
In other words, trying to be as much of an asshole as possible.
Approaching a tram/bus stop, you can always tell from a bit of a distance if the trash can is full, because when it is the immediate area surrounding/beneath it is a sea of cigarette butts. Even then, it seems, while most smokers will NOT take their butts with them and dispose of them properly elsewhere, they will still not just litter everywhere and anywhere, instead "placing" their butts next to the full trash can, maybe to make a statement that at least they tried...
The amount of butts littered in the downtown area with all the historic buildings and historic cobblestone streets - but also very busy with most of the bigger item shops there - is extremely low by now, virtually non-existent in most areas, not just because there are ashtray-ized trash cans there too, but also because there is city officers regularly patrolling there, making sure people don't litter in general, beggars/musicians stick by the rules, bike riders don't use the pedestrian only areas, etc. Those patrols will fine you for your flicked butts, EUR 35 on regular streets and EUR 80 when you litter on harder to clean cobblestone IIRC.
This is very true and highlights how addictive nicotine is. We’re willing to light these things on fire and breathe it into our lungs but are disgusted by the remnants and feel a compulsion to immediately discard it.
University educated people from (seemingly) good homes smoke the cigarettes and immediately chuck them out on the streets. Sometimes not even caring if they still burn.
This is my friends, my coworkers, policemen, etc.
Whenever I openly question their behaviour they usually respond (quite proudly): "The city is our big ashtray".
I stopped doing it though 2010ish once i realized they don't break down (now i dont smoke).
The main problem is the cigarette butts from filter cigarettes, which have been the standard for decades. It's kinda stupid anyway. Smoking a known harmful substance, but oh let me filter it through this little piece of cellulose fiber wadding.
And this is why they continue to do it. You get a response of indignation when you order random strangers in a free society how to behave. You'll get better results if you use guilt instead of demands.
I would welcome a law enforcement branch that patrols the streets to prevent and punish these sorts of offenses. You can enact law after law, but if there's no enforcement then change is going to be elusive.
For some people it's as simple as not wanting to carry around some dirty stinking cigarette butts. Portable ashtrays are sometimes produced, but they never seem to catch on.
And we shouldn't ignore the power of the really strong habit they've formed of flicking them away.
It worked, in that you could put out a cigarette in it and store the remains. But it stank to high heaven. I don't recall it seeing a lot of re-use.
Most of my butts went in the gutter, but I'm still not sure I could explain the mindset. They feel fluffy so you don't mentally associate it with plastic, and they're the part that's painted to look like a natural texture.
So I made a point of flicking them in the gutter rather than the sidewalk, so they'd be either washed away by rain, or taken care of by the street-sweepers.
I can see in retrospect that neither is actually a solution. I can't really explain it. There's a lot of habitual behaviours around cigarettes besides the addictive substances. When I quit, I found the hardest part wasn't the lack of chemicals, it was missing that 10 minute break where it was somehow socially acceptable to leave my desk to stand outside and have a chat with the usual crowd.
Smoking isn't a habit. It's 20 or so habits that all reinforce each other. I quit about 18 months ago, and I still have the continual feeling that I've left something behind that I shouldn't have, because my pockets don't have the expected load-out. So I have a short mini-panic that I've forgotten my keys, or my wallet, or .. and then I realise I've forgotten my smokes & lighter.
I recently found myself making a mental note to stock up before Christmas because the stores would be closed. There's a lot of practiced behaviours that look nonsensical in isolation.
Don't smoke anymore so that's nice.
Not all of the butts end up as litter, but proper disposal still means they go to landfills. Recycling options are still extremely limited. The only one I've heard of is a mail-in recycling program. Most Unless manufacturers develop a more recyclable cigarette, the best smokers can do is to make sure their butts are properly disposed of in ashtrays, receptacles, and trashcans.
The biggest issue IMO is the makeup of the butts themselves. Most butts are made of cellulose acetate, a non-biodegradable plastic. I don't know if it's cost effective to make a recyclabe butt. If one could, perhaps a cigarette butt deposit similar to CRV on bottles would change behavior. It would not only alter the consumer behavior but would encourage smokers and nonsmokers alive to comb the streets, beaches, etc. for butts further cleaning out streets.
Otherwise, I don't think it's too much to ask for manufactureres/consumers to pony up the extra cost for a degradable cigarette butt instead of externalizing the cost to all of us for this admittedly disgusting habit.
"Here's an extra $3 per pack tax that will stay in effect until cigarette waste is no longer an issue."
One day I will purchase a fleet of Boston Dynamics' SpotMini and the thing will bark loudly and follow the person until they take it and throw it into an ashtray. Public shaming must work, if not, what else could?
Given that some people believe cigarettes are also biodegradable, that attitude may explain it.
As a society, we've also moved away from having appropriate storage for discarded cigarette trash - ash trays are no longer standard in anything and were already becoming a curiosity more than a decade ago. I assume cigarettes in a normal trash bin present a fire hazard and can't be disposed of there.
What persists are the mouthpiece (plastic) and filter (synthetic fiber). Tobacco degrades very quickly, and paper within a year or so.
So when I smoked, I never left butts behind. For one thing, I was typically short of money, so I kept the tobacco in a small bag. I mainly smoked hand-rolled cigarettes, and typically balled up the paper, and put it in a pocket. Sometimes I just dropped the paper, I admit. And sometimes I even saved it, for reuse.
But I've also made the argument that people are quite comfortable polluting in ~invisible ways. For example, let's say that there's a road full of motor vehicles. And someone flicks out a butt. Fellow drivers will typically grumble, or yell at them. But they don't realize that they're all polluting far more, through emissions of SO2, NOx, CO2, hydrocarbons, particulates, and so on.
They will eventually biodegrade, but it just looks trashy to have them on the ground.
Smokers aren't exactly known for their good judgement, manners and consideration for others in the first place, are they?
I grew up in an environment where smoking was encouraged and I can understand a person that conforms to their buddies. I have personally never tasted it but when I was teen virtually everybody smoked and it took a lot of willpower to withstand the pressure.
I think these days, in western world, except for schools, low income neighborhoods and low income jobs to be smoking means you have not enough willpower to end it. I would say most middle class people and office workers do not encourage smoking or will actively discourage it and smoking is mostly treated as a disease.
> The heaviest smokers, with everything else being equal, had about half the number of parasitic eggs in their stool, compared to everyone else
> Smoking kills. But if you’re a bird and if you want to kill parasites, that can be a good thing. City birds have taken to stuffing their nests with cigarette butts to poison potential parasites.
> 8 intestinal parasite species have been recovered singly or in combinations from 146 (61.8 %) samples. The prevalence in prison population (88/121 = 72.7%) was significantly higher than that in tobacco farm (58/115 = 50.4%).
(from https://evolutionistx.wordpress.com/2018/04/18/did-tobacco-b..., which is basically just a collection of these quotes)
The reason smoking gives you a lower parasite load is surprisingly intuitive: parasites often move through the body by using the circulatory system, which is, after all, a transportation network designed to reach every part of the body.
The circulatory system, for business logic reasons, is a star topology which connects every point to every other point through a single central hub, the lungs.
"The heaviest smokers" refers to THC smokers, not nicotine, which is the topic at hand. It may be that nicotine smoking does the same, but your reference does not show that that has been demonstrated outside of a Petri dish.
The "no benefits" refers to human health, not birds. Even with humans, smoking benefits the wealth of the cigarette manufacturer, which may lead to better health. But that also was not the point.
The prison/tobacco leaf development farm comparison cannot be used to judge the effect of nicotine smoking on one's health. For one, the paper does not mention which population smoked more, nor does it report nicotine levels in the stool samples. For all we know, the prison population may smoke 4x more than the farm workers. Or 1/4th as much.
The "In vitro anthelmintic effect of Tobacco" paper described in your link refers to study in a Petri dish of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of tobacco. It describes how "Dried leaves, stalks and the whole herb of tobacco are widely used as an anti inflammatory, antirheumatic and anthelmintic agent" and cites other papers which use nicotine extracts. This paper therefore cannot be used to conclude there is a beneficial in vivo effect of smoking tobacco.
Lastly, while the blood does indeed go through the lungs, it is wrong to say "a single central hub", as the heart is also a central hub.
- The claim is that smoking cigarettes has benefits, not that smoking nicotine does.
- The idea of calling the lungs a single central hub is, as you acknowledge, that in order to move through the circulatory system it is necessary to pass through the lungs. There is no alternative route which offers the chance to bypass the lungs. If the heart were also a central hub, it would be possible for blood to move from an extremity to the heart and back out to another extremity without passing through the lungs, but of course in reality it isn't. Drawing the blood flow network, if you wanted to distinguish the heart from the lungs, you'd need to place the lungs node between a node for the right heart and another node for the left heart.
As I pointed out, with the prisoner/tobacco farmer case you must know the rate of smoking in both populations in order to make any sort of preliminary statement, because 4x vs. 1/4x gives you totally different interpretation, yes? But that information wasn't given. Therefore you cannot draw a conclusion either way from that study.
There may be other reasons for a difference between inhaled vs. ingested nicotine.
It may be that nicotine, when processed by stomach acid, results in a compound which causes the effects seen, and that inhalation does not produce the same results.
Or, since we are talking about parasites in the digestive system, it may be that the nicotine must reach the parasites directly. As you point out, the nicotine which goes through the lungs can enter the bloodstream directly. However, does that nicotine then get released to where the parasites are? The intestines usually work the other way.
I could probably come up with a few more differences if I thought about it. That's why those paper do not support the conjecture.
You wrote "The claim is that smoking cigarettes has benefits, not that smoking nicotine does". However, 1) this post is specifically about tobacco cigarette butts ("Those discarded filters usually contain synthetic fibers and hundreds of chemicals used to treat tobacco"), 2) this thread of the post seems specifically directed to tobacco smokers (woodruffw asked "smokers on HN" why so many smokers "flick their cigarettes into gutters and on streets" - observed events are much more due to tobacco smokers), and 3) you replied to lmilcin, who wrote "Smoking is addiction that is demonstrably bad for your health and has no benefits. ... I grew up in an environment where smoking was encouraged ... when I was teen virtually everybody smoked ...".
It is clear that lmilcin specifically means tobacco smoking. There are very few places/cultures in the "western world" (quoting lmilcim) where 'virtually everybody' smokes marijuana, clove cigarettes, or other herbal cigarettes. A quick check of lmilcin's history finds https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18440363 saying "I am Pole", so lmilcin is almost certainly talking about Poland. Therefore, it's definitely a comment about tobacco cigarette smoking.
If you really believed the thread was about any sort of smoking, then you could have simply pointed out that some herbal cigarettes are not addictive as your counter-example.
If you don't believe that the separate showings that
- smoking marijuana lowers parasite load
- workers on a tobacco plantation have lower parasite loads than prisoners
- tobacco has strong antiparasitic effects
do not constitute support for the idea that smoking tobacco lowers parasite load, then all I can say is that you're being intentionally obtuse. They are strong evidence that (1) Tobacco has antiparasitic effects (this is just the third result), and (2) smoking is an effective delivery method for antiparasitic treatments. That's what support looks like.
They don't conclusively establish that smoking is an effective delivery method for the antiparasitic effect of tobacco in specific. But that's a much stronger showing than "support" requires.
How am I supposed to know that? Vaping wasn't brought up on any of the g'parents of this thread, and I don't see the relevance. Nor did the papers you referenced discuss vaping.
"smoking marijuana lowers parasite load" - I pointed out that the person you were responding to (lmilcin) was specifically talking about smoking tobacco. I wrote that the study "refers to THC smokers, not nicotine, which is the topic at hand".
If we broaden the topic to THC then I am fully in agreement with the statement that there are benefits to smoking marijuana. However, as the source NPR article says: "Of course, this result is a simple correlation. Hagen doesn't know if the THC in the men's system is actually keeping the parasitic worms at bay. And taking a few pills is a much easier way to get rid of intestinal worms." If the research scientist on the project doesn't know if it's true, why do you think it's true?
I am in agreement with the statement "workers on a tobacco plantation have lower parasite loads than prisoners". But lmilcin's posting was specifically about the effect of smoking. What if none of the tobacco farm workers smoked, while 100% of the prisoners smoked? Wouldn't that show that tobacco smoking does not have a beneficial effect on intestinal parasites? So you tell me, what percentage of each population smoked?
I am in agreement with the statement "tobacco has ... antiparasitic effects". However, the papers you indirectly referenced specifically concerned ingesting liquid solutions of tobacco. They did not mention smoking. As I pointed out, there are several mechanisms where ingestion might work while inhaling does not. Therefore those papers cannot be used to contradict the assertion that tobacco smoking has no health benefits.
You write "smoking is an effective delivery method for antiparasitic treatments".
Which of the papers described smoking as an effective delivery method for antiparasitic treatments? I have read the original publications and not found the conclusion you describe, nor do they support evolutionistx's hypothesis.
Since it's so clear to you, could you quote the relevant text from those publications which supports your conclusion?
Problem is, you need to demonstrate that your claim is true, otherwise you're begging the question.
I agree that 1) if you widen the topic beyond the original claim, which was specifically about tobacco smoking, and 2) if you assume the correlation implies causation, then sure, you're right.
Except as I've now pointed out several times:
1) the comment you replied to was specifically about tobacco smoking, and trivially disproved if you (mistakenly) expand it to all types of smoking; and
2) neither the lead scientist quoted in the NPR piece nor the actual paper make the claim that smoking marijuana lowers parasite load, only that there is a correlation. Again, quoting the NPR piece, the lead scientist "doesn't know if the THC in the men's system is actually keeping the parasitic worms at bay".
Therefore, how do you know that smoking marijuana lowers parasite load? Please quote the relevant study.
Is this really the hill you want to die on?
My small experiments with cannabis have made me wonder how tobacco possibly could have ever become more popular, the former's effects are much more noticeable with a vastly smaller amount of smoke and can be quite pleasant.
There are definite short term advantages to smokers. There (_)used to be similar short term advantages for those who drank during work hours when it was socially acceptable.
(_ Used to might be wrong.. Startups with designated drinking times that seem to be mandatory are annoying but not irrational given their short term interests.)
Tobacco also naturally contains, in addition to the nicotine, other compounds that act like MAOIs - ie, as antidepressants:
Any nobody said it was infringing on any rights - we said it was inconsiderate.
I didn’t use the word “right” to imply that any rights were being violated. I used it to claim what I believe to be reasonable expectations for other people’s behavior, which seems like a natural definition for what behavior is “inconsiderate.”
Smokers are inconsiderate because they thoughtlessly cause harm or inconvenience to others by smelling offensive. They brush off the objections of all non-smokers and tell the rest of the world to fuck off because they selfishly prefer smoking to not causing olfactory offense.
It’s very difficult to explain to people that their scents are making you ill and forcing you to leave the room, rinse your sinuses or stay 5+ feet away from them. Mercifully some workplaces have no-fragrance policies. Elsewhere, my health-driven preferences get absolutely no attention or respect. People get offended and embarrassed especially since they think they are doing this to make themselves more presentable. It is far better to not say anything.
Oddly, cigarette smells and body odor do not bother me at all.
So, given that attitude, hope you don’t use dryer sheets.
People who wear perfume have the excuse of believing they were being considerate, their fault is ignorance not selfishness. No smoker can earnestly claim they made themselves smell like an ash tray because they believed other people would appreciate it.
As for camp fires, if somebody fails to bath before coming into the office after spending the weekend camping, that is a very clear cut case of poor hygiene, which of course is very inconsiderate.
Are you happy now? Do you think the reputation of smokers has been rehabilitated thanks to your digressions? That smokers are notorious for liter is a consequence of their notorious personality defect of being inconsiderate. They don't care about how their actions impact those around them. That's why they liter. That's why they picked up a habit that makes them smell like an ash tray.
Let go of your hate, please. And please stop conflating odor with pollution, it is not becoming of you.
On the contrary, I defended the moral character of people who wear perfume, not the stench of perfume, since they do not categorically possess the same moral defect as smokers. (And I didn't defend in any way people who smell like campfires. People who go camping should bath before presenting themselves in public, they have absolutely no excuse.) Did you even read my post or did you assume the contents of it?
Which each passing year, as cigarette smoking becomes less and less popular, the portion of the population who hate for the stench of people who smoke will only rise. A majority of the public in first world nations agrees with me, and that's not going to diminish. Smokers are left with a choice, either they change or they weather the hate they rightfully get from the rest of us.
I don't like tobacco smoke either, but I think you're judging a lot of people way more harshly than is healthy for public discourse.
That's not what I was saying, but actually that's also true. Good point. Smelling like a smoker is itself inconsiderate behavior.
What I was actually saying is that smokers are generally inconsiderate people. This can be generally observed by interacting with the general public and noticing that people who smell like smokers are almost always inconsiderate people. You don't need to witness an inconsiderate person smoking to know they're a smoker, because the human nose can detect smokers easily. And just so we're clear, not all inconsiderate people are smokers, but very nearly all smokers are inconsiderate.
Now that I think about this more, there is a plausible relationship here: everybody knows that smoking makes you smell awful, so only people who are inclined towards being inconsiderate will pick up the habit.
In most free countries, it is your right to be inconsiderate. It's not the right of any smoker to be free of criticism.
I will straight up disagree with you there, and we can probably avoid a semantic argument over what “inconsiderate” means and just call it a day. In summary, I think “inconsiderate” ought only apply to behaviors that sufficiently violate the expectations of society, or in other words, just because you don’t like a behavior does not mean that behavior is inconsiderate.
The rest of your comment is fairly ridiculous. Surely you haven’t actually counted every smoker you have met. It’s much more likely that you are simply disproportionately noticing smokers who are bothering you.
The question is interesting precisely because it falls outside the output you would get from a heuristic algo of "good people don't litter", "bad people do".
If the bathroom provides paper towels, there’s almost always a non-zero quantity of wet paper towels stuck to the floor. If the bathroom only has electric hot air hand driers, there will be none.
How do the paper towels get on the floor? The bathroom likely gets cleaned once a day. Probably at night.
So, the next day, someone, anyone, drops the first paper towel of the day for some reason, any reason, and leaves it there. It stays there the rest of the day. More follow, all accumulating until someone cleans the whole bathroom at the end of the day.
Who are these people? Why don’t they just fucking pick up the paper towels they careless permit to fall onto the floor?
But to complain about such things is to scream at the tide. You can admit that paper towels are not something a public restroom should put into the hands of random strangers who have no incentive to change their behavior. You can place paper towels within reach, and throw people in jail for their messy carelessness, or you can hire a janitor.
Or you can just let wet paper towels cover the floor, absorbing every form of moisture available on the floor of a typical public restroom.
All of this is exasperated by the general fear of dirt in western cultures, which leads to a lot of other well documented ill effects, especially in children. People are just way too grossed out to actually clean up, if there are no tools to do so in a clean manner.
All easy to explain, and you are right - if you do remove the littering option for people, and give them a reasonable alternative, they will litter less.
But the cigarette butts? They have only the “there’s some on the floor so it must be ok” going for them. But even so it seems rather weird.
I've had random people on an almost daily basis harass me for smoking. Flicking my butts on the ground was a big fuck you to all of the non smokers that harassed me.
There are very good reasons to treat smokers negatively and you, completely without shame, gave us another one.
At the macro level first they were shuffled out doors, which was fine but sucks when the weather is poor. Then it was no smoking in bars, in your own home, within 50 meters of a door (good luck in a packed in city). Then it was "we don't hire smokers, even ones who don't smoke while they are at work". Then it was oh you switched to vaping because it doesn't smell as bad, has a much lower health risk but we're even going to be shitty to you for trying that.
Maybe, just maybe we should try to remember that these folks are PEOPLE and still deserve to be treated with a modicum of decency, the same as we do for the poor, the overweight, members of the opposite sex, those of different gender identities and sexual preferences and so on and so forth. Or would you prefer everyone go back to being shitty to anyone else who wasn't a carbon copy of themselves?
what country/city is this? most places I've been don't have such limits or is limited to 9m at most
>Then it was "we don't hire smokers, even ones who don't smoke while they are at work". Then it was oh you switched to vaping because it doesn't smell as bad, has a much lower health risk but we're even going to be shitty to you for trying that.
I'm skeptical that this happens at any significant level.
>Maybe, just maybe we should try to remember that these folks are PEOPLE and still deserve to be treated with a modicum of decency, the same as we do for the poor, the overweight, members of the opposite sex, those of different gender identities and sexual preferences and so on and so forth.
some of the things in the list are unlike the others.
smoking/overweight: you have control over, and can take steps to stop it
everything else: you have no control over
I can assure you that the "we don't hire smokers" is indeed a thing. It became so much of a thing in the 90s that many states had to actually pass laws preventing the descrimination: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoker_protection_law
21 states still do not prevent such discrimination, with Washington being one of them. You'd be shocked at how many jobs in the Seattle area discriminate against smokers.
point made on the choice vs no choice thing but my point wasn't about choice it was about how we as a society have collectively decided for the most part not to shit on people and that includes those with an addiction. Also minor nit but being poor is not completely outside of ones control in the majority of cases.
Purely anecdotal, but this is happening far too often: it's a bad weather day, waiting under the 5m long city tram station's getting protected from the rain, then someone comes and sit right next to me, lightning it's damn cigarette like there was absolutely no problem.
This is the kind of behavior that makes you actually forget that "these folks are people and still deserve to be treated with a modicum of decendy", because they clearly don't give a shit about others themselves.
I view smokers in the same way. It's a smelly habit that affects everyone around you, and you can't be surprised that you are liked less by some because of it.
No, there's no excuses. It's just a case of not having any interest in the other human right next to you.
Please stop making assumptions.
I'm actually walking across the street, every single time. I let it go, every single time.
At the end of the day, it's me who's going threw the loop "hell, he could have asked if it was ok at least - nevermind I won't make a fuss", while in those heads its "NEED NICOTIN RITNOW - GET NICOTTIIIIIIN".
> I find it odd that you have one set of standards for how others should treat your desires and a completely separate one for the way you handle theirs.
You're wrong. I'm handling their desire very dearly: I walk away and let them smoking how they desire. And then I'm thinking privately (and publicly here) that this is very unfair indeed, because they don't care about my own standard.
I don't think it's worth pursuing this "you don't see the beam in your own eye" kind of argumentation, because in this very specific case my eye is pristine.
> I'm sorry but are you five or something?
Do you not see the hypocrisy? If you re-read your own comment without the above line, it's much more powerful. By adding it your are only continuing the cycle of people being asses to each other, in this case name calling.
In contrast, many moderns seem to believe that merely acknowledging the possibility of incivility, is itself the height of incivility. But that's nihilism, not civility.
A leading tobacco industry academic, a California lawmaker and a worldwide surfing organization are among those arguing cigarette filters should be banned. The nascent campaign hopes to be bolstered by linking activists focused on human health with those focused on the environment.
“It’s pretty clear there is no health benefit from filters. They are just a marketing tool. And they make it easier for people to smoke"
I used to smoke rolled cigarettes with mild tobacco without filters (thankfully quit) but I thought they were just as mild as filtered cigarettes. Smokers anyway self-modulate how much they inhale.
Toxicity of cigarette butts, and their chemical components, to marine and freshwater fish
 - https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/20/Suppl_1/i25
It's about nicotine delivery, and even the new hit with the kids, Juul, seems not as nice as a cigarette to me as a very infrequent nicotine user. Maybe box mods are different, I've only every tried the types of vapes you can get at tobacco shops and gas stations and such.
As a side note, I'm surprised snuff isn't more popular. It gives a noticeable but not overwhelming stimulation, discretely, doesn't have the cultural connotations or need to spit of chew, and seemed a little milder too. I guess putting stuff up your nose has it's own connotations. I also don't even know where you can buy it. Certainly not a gas station.
Box mods are indeed different. And you don't really need a box mod, good beginner-level devices (from ~$50 and up) charged with an adequately strong liquid do the job great and don't require any special skill. The devices usually sold at gas stations are worth nothing more than a temporary emergency cigarette replacement and Juul is, you know, for kids. As a very infrequent nicotine user you have no reason to care but if you smoked regularly I'd advice to pay your local specialized vape shop a visit and ask the guys what can they recommend.
> As a side note, I'm surprised snuff isn't more popular.
I've bought some snuff once I've forgotten my vape at home and my impression is it's the best tool to quit smoking! Every time you use it - it's a jump of courage and tears, snot and head-shot feeling after it. It's a so damn strong mentol charge I feel like I'd rather eat a Carolina Reaper. Even though I've taken the box that doesn't mention menthol.
What I wonder is about the new "vape-like" pens which heats (real) tobacco but doesn't burn it. If that is similar enough to cigarettes to win cigarette smokers over. I would think so, but I'm not a real smoker (only tried a few times) so can't offer my own anecdata.
I see many people around using it nowadays but I'm sure I wouldn't prefer this over a good vape and I've also heard it's dangerous as it may also be heating the filter together with the tobacco so you actually inhale extra toxines.
BTW about vapes - although I believe these are generally healthier than any kind of cigarettes (and so do many doctors unofficially) I've heard many liquids (usually flavoured like vanilla, maple, coconut or caramel) contain diacetyl, pentanedione and/or acetoin so you can "popcorn lung" syndrome (which is much more dangerous than what ordinary cigs do) quickly 
Sniffing snuff is much stronger than cigarettes but less intense I would say. Like if you don't smoke a cigarette could give you the spins, but in a few minutes you're ok. I have had a few sniffs of snuff, and then a few hours later still felt a bit up, and had trouble sleeping. Unlike chewing or dipping though, I think it's hard to accidentally have way too much.
This scene from Frasier is spot on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptqRrwvYVTs&t=126
Although, it's bullshit that so many smokers think it's perfectly OK to throw their butts just about anywhere.
It's not normally police who issue the penalty notice, but local council staff. This means there's a lot of variation across the country. Some councils outsource this to companies who are a bit too vigorous in giving penalty notices. The aim is to prevent litter, not to raise revenue, so they're supposed to give you a chance to pick up your litter to avoid the fine but some don't do that.
The advice about when to, and when not to, issue FPNs covers the point about giving people the opportunity to pick up litter: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/enforcement-officers-issuing-fix...
That seems like an ineffective mechanism. Just litter and pick it up in the very rare cases where you get called out.
If I were council dictator for a day, I would make the fines stiff and immediate but require that 100%^1 of the revenues are refunded to all residents at the end of each year.
That way there's still a stiff disincentive to littering, but no significant incentive for abusive/dishonest enforcement.
[^1]: (perhaps sans some low and more importantly fixed amount to cover enforcement costs)
Makes friday drinks (and being stupid and inconsiderate) way more expensive (it was £85).
I always thought cigarette butts were something that are harmless and break down easily.
I’ve also been seeing JUUL butts / fake USB drives piling up all over NYC.
They really ought to have a desposit or recycling program for those.
That said, this is probably 90% China as we saw with the ocean plastics source data. Not sure if this approach would work there.
Fun fact, this same company had a tv show: https://itunes.apple.com/us/tv-season/human-resources-season...
More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TerraCycle
Also while there was a brief moment in time where switching to vaping gave you the ability to go back inside, that was pretty much wiped out within 2 or so years of the devices gaining popularity as people treat vapers just as shitty as they treat smokers, perhaps even more so.
As to price, it can go either way depending on how you do it. If you are picking up eJuice by the bottle you can actually save quite a bit of money compared to traditional cigarettes. If you are using a pod system like JUUL you either break even or lose money in comparison. I kind of switch back and forth because while the juice option is cheaper its also messier and more inconvenient, where something like a JUUL is a lot closer to the experience of a regular cigarette. Tiny stick in your pocket with disposable pods vs giant eVapeDick that needs you to stop and disassemble it to fill it or change out the atomizer and blows giant unnecessary clouds.
Source: 25 year smoker, switched to vaping in 2010.
Plaatics (floating everywhere)? Micro-plastics? Chemicals (that can't be collected)? All come to mind.
At the risk of sounding like a cynic / conspiracy theorist, this particular take on the issue feels as if it came out of the covert comms dept of Big Oil.
Some kind of code that gets assigned to you when you buy the items. And if those items are found in nature, then you are fined.
The most effective portable ashtray I saw, was when it was handed out on a festival: they were the classic analog camera film canisters, they close really airtight.
To adress the dumping of cigeratte filters not buds, why not simply put ever larger return deposits (like many nations have on certain glass bottles etc) on the filters? If your pack of cigarettes cost say $20, but $30 dollars extra for the filters, then smokers will keep their filters and turn them in when they buy their new pack. OK, a lot of people behave irrationally when drinking while smoking, but some of the present smokers will still be cheap enough to collect all the filters that people leave in the local ashtray instead of in their portable ones... The difference is between $50 or $20 for the next pack of cigarettes. Use the same per filter price for loose filters for the people who roll cigarettes.
I am addicted to smoking, and smoke cigarettes without filter. As far as I understand both paper and tobacco biodegrade. On the street I throw the butts (not filters!) in the gutters, preferentially through the grid straight into the sewer.
I have had many discussions with other smokers, and there is a guaranteed subject that returns: whenever the taxes and hence prices of tobacco products rise a fraction of the previous cost. Just like the smokers are addicted to the cigarettes, the tobacco companies and the government are "addicted to the smokers" or rather: exploit the smokers.
Over ten years that I smoke the price has more than tripled perhaps quadrupled (Belgium, Europe). The justification behind increasing the prices is always to encourage people to stop smoking. The discussion I have with these other smokers whenever the price has risen always ends with the same conclusion: they don't want us to stop smoking, they just want to extract more money by using small increments, and letting us get accustomed to the new price. We always reach the conclusion it would be better to not let the price rise for a couple of years and then double the price of tobacco products. A lot of people would stop simply because they don't economically agree to the new price, and many who want to stop but have a hard time because their friends are still smoking would have an easier time because it would synchronize our efforts to stop smoking. Obviously that will lead to a substantial loss of income to both tobacco industry and government, who are sponsoring various cancer treatments (both tobacco related and unrelated cancers) with the income from tobacco products. The "beautiful" aspect is that in contrast to non-addictive products the lobbyists for tobacco companies don't even need to bribe government, since government has been co-opted through taxation.
If we really wish to clear up the cigarette filters, stop smoking, and lower future health care costs we should look at the "half-life" of cigarettes/euro, and keep the price constant but double it every such half-life. That would really give all smokers a memento mori to reconsider our habits, ... but similarily it would also force tobacco industry and government to kick off the lucrative income from smokers!
As a smoker (but otherwise a very stubborn person) I can tell you we don't have the spine to quit, certainly not on the basis of a 5% increasee in price! Whack us with a price doubling! Then nearly all my friends who smoke, and unknown people I may meet at performances, events, bars would stop in synchrony.
Wasn't the mass introduction of filters at least partially a marketing ploy minimize the health concerns as they started to rise in public perception? How effective are filters really? Are those smokers who were intimidated into buying more expensive and "healthier" cigarettes by both industry and family (indirectly still industry) really the cause of the current widespread pollution of these filters? Or were it the marketers, similar to all the pollution of plastic water bottles? A marketing ploy in the quest for money, with the side effect of polluting nature?