Saturday, June 03, 2006

You can make a difference - Tip 4

I'm a bit late with my "You can make a difference" tip of the month. And this time around, it's not my friend S.'s fault, it's mine....I confess....What with travelling and work, I didn't get around to posting her tip until now. This month's topic is cigarettes:

This is not a smoking issue, but a litter one!

One of the biggest myths is that cigarette filters are biodegradable. They are made of plastic and as such they can take more than 15 years to decompose.

You all cried about the turtle and the plastic bag. Well, the turtle is back - her name is Mayou - and she is choking on flicked butts. If fish, whales and other marine creatures aren’t choking, they are busy getting poisoned by the chemicals left in the cigarette butts.

Since smoking was banned indoors, smokers have been forced outside, drastically increasing cigarette butt pollution. To counter that, the city of Dublin distributed 20,000 free pocket ashtrays.

Bottom line, the only butt on the beach this summer should be yours!

Pocket ashtray? Sounds cool! I looked it up and found a few sites with some images. Here's one of them.

And although banning smoking indoors hasn't happened here just yet, it's a phenomenon that's been catching on across the world, with Quebec being the latest Canadian province to start enforcing the ban since a couple of days ago.


secretdubai said...

I've always found it amazing how people that would never in a million years drop a tissue or a chewing gum wrapper on the pavement are totally happy to flick cigarette butts wherever they want.

It's as if cigarette butts somehow "don't count" - despite the fact that they are one of the most toxic items of waste material outside an industrial plant.

They banned smoking on some beaches in Australia mainly because smokers were so lazy and foul about their habit. They so rarely bothered to use bins that the butts were causing significant pollution. Result: a total ban, and serve them fking right.

I find smoking an increasingly awkward issue to deal with. What do you do if friends offer you a lift, then choose to smoke inside the car, all windows closed of course because of the heat? I would rather pay hundreds of dirhams for a cab than sit for even five minutes in a smoke filled car, but how do you explain that to someone without offending them or sounding like a psycho?

I know it might sound psycho, but just five minutes and one cigarette in a space that small, and your clothes and your hair are going to stink for the rest of the day. And if you don't immediately put them in the washing machine, they'll stink your house out too. It is so humid now - smells just cling.

And isn't it ridiculous how embarrassed one feels asking someone not to smoke in your home? Because again, getting rid of the smell is almost impossible, and non-smokers have much a much sharper sense of smell.

nzm said...

My pet peeves are rental cars and hotel rooms that stink of smoke. We always ask for non-smoking everything, but because we're so sensitive to the smell, we can often detect it in the bed pillows and duvets.

Even though I feel that NZ legislation has gone over the top with their banning of smoking in restaurants and bars, it has been very nice to be in malls, cafes and even private houses and not be driven mad by the smoke.

My rental car is truly a non-smoking car - they even have a little tag on the key ring to remind me of that and to ask me to refrain from smoking in the car.


Mar said...

It's awkward to ask people not to smoke in your house.
I think it's annoying when they pretend they didn't hear the blunt remarks we make on how we're a non smoking family.I even reiterate that when I bring my one and only cheap ashtray and make fun of the way it looks and how we're not into ahstrays because nobody in the house smokes.
To my dismay, I always get ignored in such situations and you find me running to the windows for air fresh air
I know it's addictive and I personally puff a couple of cigs once in a blue moon, but smokers should control that, at least when they visit people who own cheap ashtrays :)

chazoo said...

Contrary to MAR, most of my smoking friends do not pretend not having heard. But I can tell ya, I don't care how rude it would sound but you can be sure no one would smoke in my house!

My pet peeve: same as secretdubai's... getting a lift from someone and they light up in the car. I HATE THAT!

About Montreal now enforcing the no smoking inside bars and restaurants... So far so good. Now we see hoards of smokers on the sidewalks and bars have had to install ashtrays outside to curb the butt littering. Thankfully the weather is nice - I wonder how many will start complaning about this when it is -40°C outside in January....