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The world is your ashtray

Many years ago, before people really understood the dangers of smoking…
• lots of people smoked cigarettes.
• cars had ashtrays, sometimes multiple ashtrays.
• people emptied their ashtrays into a trash bag and threw the bag in a trash can.

WHAT?! Cars had ashtrays?
They sure did. There was always one in the front console. There was often one in the back console, for those riders in the back seat. Some vehicles even had ashtrays in the arms rests!
The ashtrays could be popped out, so they could be emptied and the cigarette butts thrown away.

Sometime around 1980, people started getting lazy. I can remember being at a store parking lot and seeing where someone had dumped their ashtray out on the ground beside their car and driven off. What a disgusting mess.

Of course, cigarettes then became persona non grata (so to speak) and smoking was frowned upon. Second hand smoke became a big deal and it was made illegal to smoke in many public places. It started with designated smoking areas, but now I think people just go outside anywhere for a quick butt. (*Please note, I’m not saying I disagree with all the regulation about smoking. Smoking is bad for your health. I’m just giving a slight timeline of how the world became your ashtray.)

As less and less people were smokers, passengers in cars didn’t want the drivers smoking with the windows up. And here is where the world became your ashtray. When people are smoking with their window down, and they finish the cigarette, what do most people do? That’s right. They flick the butt away from their car onto the ground. Many people who are outside smoking, just flick their cigarette on the ground. It’s become SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) and it’s disgusting.

I get really annoyed when I find cigarette butts on my lawn. I get nervous when I am driving by someone who flicks their butt out and it comes close to the open window of MY car.

I’d like to say its pure laziness, but I don’t think my car has an ashtray. Maybe to cut down on people smoking automobile manufacturers quit installing them? Of course, there’s no excuse for people outside to just fling their butts. Maybe they should have “butt stations” or public ashtrays, like they have “dog poop stations.”

While looking for information on how long it takes the filter of a cigarette to decompose (18 months to 10 years) I found this great article about how cigarette butts are polluting the earth. Check it out… https://www.verywell.com/world-cigarette-litter-facts-that-will-shock-you-2824735

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