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DHMHBlog : The Earth is Not an Ashtray!

The Earth Is Not an Ashtray!
 
Did you know 1.18 MILLION cigarettes and filters were removed from American beaches in 2010?  And that doesn’t even include the thousands of cigarette lighters, cigar tips, and tobacco packages or wrappers.  Cigarette butts are the most frequently littered item – over one out of every three pieces of litter collected from streets is a cigarette butt, according to Keep American Beautiful, Inc. 
Not only are these discarded butts an eye sore to our beautiful Maryland communities, but they are also a danger to our environment.  Cigarette filters can take more than nine months to biodegrade, and dangerous chemicals from these filters can seep into soil and water, causing toxic conditions in our ecosystems and endangering animal and marine life. 

In honor of Earth Day, the American Legacy Foundation is launching a “Rethink Butts” campaign.  Their new ad can be viewed at www.rethinkbutts.org.  The site also has fact sheets and a toolkit for planning Earth Day activities in your community.  A “Litter in America” fact sheet can be found at http://www.kab.org/site/DocServer/LitterFactSheet_CIGARETTE.pdf?docID=5182
 
There are many reasons why smoking tobacco is dangerous.  Smoking causes major health problems such as cancers and heart disease.  Secondhand smoke from lit tobacco products also contains cancer-causing chemicals and puts those around the smoker at risk.  The toxic effects of tobacco products on the environment and ecosystems only add to the list of good reasons to quit smoking.  Maryland has a FREE telephone-based counseling service – 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-7884-8669) – available to residents ages 13 and older who are ready to quit using tobacco. 
 
This Earth Day, be good to yourself, those around you, and your environment.  Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.smokingstopshere.com for more information and to start your tobacco-free life today!