Cigarette Butts -- Disturbing ... very disturbing

7:26 a.m. on May 19, 2011 (EDT)
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Was recently doing some day-hiking in a nearby State Park.  

Encountered more than a few cigarette butts along the trails.   What are these people (the smokers) thinking ... (if they are capable of thinking) ?

"Darwin Awards" going out to these morons.

NoSmo King

12:00 p.m. on May 19, 2011 (EDT)
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I hear ya on that one. I am a smoker, not heavy but I do smoke. When on the trail I use snuff(pouches.) I could never understand why people just dump cigarette butts all over the place. I do what I did in the military. Roll the ash out of the tip, stomp the ash out, and put the butt in a ziploc. I don't see a big deal in waiting til I find a garbage can to dispose of them. If ya don't have enough respect for yourself to not make it apparent to fellow hikers that ya don't care at least have enough respect for the bc/others around ya. Noone wants to trek in a garbage dump.

Enough of my rant for the day. Thanks for the opportunity to vent Robert. :)

1:48 p.m. on May 19, 2011 (EDT)
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It sounds like a typical Dayhiker problem, and we all know Dayhikers are on the lowest of evolutionary rungs.  First, they roll in on Cars, as rolling couch potatoes, then they gather up the energy, somehow, to leave their vehicles and hike a few hundred feet to the closest stream, whereby they dump their turtlehead loads next to the stream and leave large piles of toilet paper.  Cigarette butts are just another way of marking their territory, as with turds, and seem to fulfill a deep-seated need to claim a spot.  Take away the roads and adjacent parking lots, and you take away the problem.

Granted, backpackers also leave cigarette butts, along with a wide variety of other crap, as the amount is in correlation to how close they can park to their night's destination.  Further study is needed.

1:58 p.m. on May 19, 2011 (EDT)
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My pain in the ass neighbor smokes on our shared front entry steps and drops his butts.  Then wakes up in the morning to find them plastered against his front door.  The Garden Gnome gets up to all sorts of mischief after dark.  Wish the same could be done for those leaving their butts on the trails.  Well after he started stepping in butts as he came out in the morning he gradually got it.

6:40 p.m. on May 19, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm glad I am not the only one bothered by this.  My neighbors throw their butts everywhere, even right outside my door  and I am sick of looking at them! It seems most people have no respect for anything. It enrages me because not only does it ruin our public places and trails, it also causes a lot of fires. It is fire season in Florida and I hope my dumb ass neighbors don't burn down my apartment. Not sure as to what a good solution for this would be.

6:46 p.m. on May 19, 2011 (EDT)
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Get a garden gnome and arm him with a super soaker squirt cannon.

7:39 p.m. on May 19, 2011 (EDT)
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Last week it was bone dry and ready to flame on up on Box Springs Mountain here in Riverside. On my morning run I noticed a butt lying in the trail with a perfect cylinder of ash still attached, meaning that someone had just dropped a lit cigarette without even bother to step on it. But they only get the Darwin award if the fire catches them... 

9:42 p.m. on May 19, 2011 (EDT)
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I roll my own. Just paper and tobacco. I dig a hole when out on the trail.

11:48 p.m. on May 19, 2011 (EDT)
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This thread reminds me of my own experience last summer, on the trail to Clouds Rest in Yosemite.

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/trip-reports/topics/77340.html#77340

Used TP *and* cigarettes on the trail, all in one day.

Actually maybe the hiker I saw carried out his cigarette butts, I don't know...

 

 

 

11:52 p.m. on May 19, 2011 (EDT)
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shell684 said:

I'm glad I am not the only one bothered by this.  My neighbors throw their butts everywhere, even right outside my door  and I am sick of looking at them! It seems most people have no respect for anything. It enrages me because not only does it ruin our public places and trails, it also causes a lot of fires.

Yeah, me three.  I used to live in a small condo complex, and my neighbors & their friends congegrated on the patio out back.  They invariably left a slew of cigarette butts littering the grounds.  It was highly annoying - it showed a complete lack of respect for the property.

 

12:39 a.m. on May 20, 2011 (EDT)
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You guys got me curious, so I looked into the numbers, because I knew they were ridiculously high:

The below is from http://www.cigarettelitter.org/

"It is estimated that several trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide every year. That's billions of cigarettes flicked, one at a time, on our sidewalks, beaches, nature trails, gardens, and other public places every single day. In fact, cigarettes are the most littered item in America and the world. Cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate tow, NOT COTTON, and they can take decades to degrade. Not only does cigarette litter ruin even the most picturesque setting, but the toxic residue in cigarette filters is damaging to the environment, and littered butts cause numerous fires every year, some of them fatal."

9:11 a.m. on May 22, 2011 (EDT)
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I agree, at the least field strip them and pack them out. Anything else is missing the point of being out there in the first place.

10:46 a.m. on May 23, 2011 (EDT)
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____________________________________

Comfort the disturbed ...

Disturb the comfortable ....

________________________________________

NoSmo King

3:38 p.m. on May 23, 2011 (EDT)
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i might have to get a naughty lawn gnome if they do not stop. i like that idea.

8:33 a.m. on May 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Those are one of the banes of my existence. But I know one other thing that even tops that.

A line of beer bottles broken all over the trail.

There's a beautiful trail just up the road where I live. You get on it and there's cigarette butts, beer bottles and even worse graffiti on the walls of nearby cliffs. Nothing like walking through the woods and seeing "Sarah does a good blow" on the side of a cliff.

A friend of mine walked through there a few weeks ago and was looking at one cliff. It was his first time on the trail. He looked at me and said, "This is beautiful. Too bad some bozo ruined it by painting an alien ship on it."

12:47 p.m. on May 24, 2011 (EDT)
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rocklion,

that is awful, I wish people would have more respect! Sometimes I wonder if the earth will end up like it does on the movie Wall E where it is all covered in trash and everyone is fat and rides a hover round.

1:15 p.m. on May 24, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm in full agreement with everyone on this. I don't have objections to anyone smoking but in any outdoor location they have to be responsible for their actions and the potential harmful consequences of just throwing the fag butts away.

Tissue paper and cigarette butts - there's nothing worse when you think you've found the perfect pitch for the night.

2:52 p.m. on May 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Welcome to Trailspace, Snipps Whispers. I've yet to make it to Scotland, but your photography stirs the call fresh.

9:17 p.m. on May 24, 2011 (EDT)
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At one of my previous jobs, I had to crawl up into the attic of an old building that used to be an art museum.  Due to the fact that the roof of the attic was all pane glass and the caulk had begun leaking, whoever had taken care of the place before us just put up a bunch of heavy duty plastic.  We had to get up there, basically in a greenhouse with 0 ventilation in the middle of the summer, and shop-vac all this broken down plastic sheeting.  It was impossible to determine how long it had been there, but definitely quite a while as the sunlight had reduced all the plastic to essentially small shard bits of plastic everywhere.  We found many cigarette butts up there, all looking as fresh as the day they were left. 

5:26 a.m. on May 25, 2011 (EDT)
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gonzan said:

Welcome to Trailspace, Snipps Whispers. I've yet to make it to Scotland, but your photography stirs the call fresh.

 Thanks gonzan, it's good to find such a friendly and informative forum. Scotland, by the standards of some of your states, is only small but it packs a lot in.

Glad you like the pics.

7:26 a.m. on May 25, 2011 (EDT)
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I think the thing I find most disturbing about this topic comes  from a hike I was taking (unfortunately near a "dayhiker"-haven) past Abram's Falls.  It was fairly dry around the trail, and you could tell that sometime in the past there had been a large fire that wiped out pretty much a whole ridge.  I had come around a bend and saw a smoldering cigarette laying in a pile of dried grasses!  WTF?!?  Seriously?!?  Are people really that ignorant or oblivious?  I took a mouthful of water from my Camelbak and swooshed out the smoldering heap (really a small pile).  I was absolutely disgusted that in an area in which you could see had been overtaken by a fire, that someone would be so ridiculously irresponsible.

I wish more people could take a lead from Rick-Pittsburgh.....he sounds like he has it right to keep the garbage out of the woods.

9:17 a.m. on May 25, 2011 (EDT)
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I think the thing I find most disturbing about this topic comes  from a hike I was taking (unfortunately near a "dayhiker"-haven) past Abram's Falls.  It was fairly dry around the trail, and you could tell that sometime in the past there had been a large fire that wiped out pretty much a whole ridge.  I had come around a bend and saw a smoldering cigarette laying in a pile of dried grasses!  WTF?!?  Seriously?!?  Are people really that ignorant or oblivious?  I took a mouthful of water from my Camelbak and swooshed out the smoldering heap (really a small pile).  I was absolutely disgusted that in an area in which you could see had been overtaken by a fire, that someone would be so ridiculously irresponsible.

I wish more people could take a lead from Rick-Pittsburgh.....he sounds like he has it right to keep the garbage out of the woods.

 

Thanks D&G. I look at it like this. Although its a habit I am not proud of its still MY habit. There is absolutely no reason why I should let it effect the people around me or the areas I love so much.

I mean seriously, is it really that hard to just put it in a baggie? I mean I understand it does take a great deal of effort to properly make sure it is out. Then there is the extraordinary weight it adds to the 30+ lbs I'm already carrying.

In all seriousness though. It just make sense to me. If I am on a trail and I see them I pack them out with mine. No biggie. Don't think its a health risk and I have hand sanitizer.

It all breaks down to 2 factors for me. Common sense and respect.

2:18 p.m. on May 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick ~~

I love your attitude and candidness.   I wish more smokers were like you.

r2

3:02 p.m. on May 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks Robert, truthfully my goal is whether I am on a day hike/over nighter or I am on a week long+ trip I don't want to leave any possible trace that I was ever in the area. For all nature has given me it seems like a pretty minor inconvenience if any to pick a up stuff along my journeys. Heck, I even carry one of those blue mesh laundry bags with me with a small trash can liner. I pick up whatever I find, stick it in the bag, clip the laudry bag to my pack with a carabiner, and pack it out.

Not saying I can clean up the outdoor world but every little bit I personally do is a step in the right direction. Granted it completely boggles my mind that people throw their crap all over the place the way they do. I bet they would be pretty mad if I backed up a tri-axel in their back yard and unloaded. Too many people live by the "I can't see it from my window" logic.

Now on the flipside, when I bend down and grab that empty soda bottle, or cigarette butt the feeling that I get is all the payment I could ever ask for. To me its all about giving back.

So in a way I guess I am leaving a trace. A positive one. :)

7:20 a.m. on May 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:


 ...  I am leaving a trace. A positive one. :)

 ______________________________________________

Great line.   I would like to borrow that one ....

r2

11:08 a.m. on May 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:


 ...  I am leaving a trace. A positive one. :)

 ______________________________________________

Great line.   I would like to borrow that one ....

r2

 

By all means feel free. Honestly I wish more people would.

12:15 p.m. on May 26, 2011 (EDT)
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I reserve the right to not judge anyone on their smoking/other habits. I smoked for ten years and quit overnight based on the wise words of Bill Clinton. Yes even Bill Clinton got one right! I can't remember the exact quote now but it was along the lines that most smokers were hooked when they were young. I started smoking when I was sixteen so he was correct. It made me mad to know there was a scam behind it. I quit and my wife ended up quitting also because I wasn't running to the store to get smokes anymore.

I think the thing people should also keep in mind is largely smokers are suicidal. They know smoking is bad for them and yet they still do it. If they don't care about themselves do you think they are going to care about a trail?

Day hikers are not the bottom of the "evolutionary rung". It's my opinion that people have been lied to for so long they don't know right from wrong anymore.

I also think evolution is a farce and even Darwin proves it false in his own writings. I think adaptation is more suiting.

2:19 p.m. on May 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Dr. Reaper- Interesting logic I see here. While I do respect your opinion I do not agree with it.

Smokers are suicidal? Kinda reminds me of my grandfather, he smoked all his life, had black lung(coal mines) and made it to 92. That's a pretty good run for being suicidal. I know many people who have smoked all of their lives to very old ages. Actually alot of them outlived their siblings who did not smoke.

I read that you reserved the right to not pass judgement on smokers, etc. but at the same time you state that "largely smokers are suicidal." Isn't that a judgement call solely based on assumption?

Also you state smokers don't care about themselves so they wont care about the trail. Yep there is another one of those judgement calls based on assumption.

I can't speak for all smokers but I love life. I'm hardly suicidal. I just have a habit.

On that note I am gonna step back from the thread and see where this goes. I am not one to respond or react to stereotypical statements. Not all smokers are the same... But I do repect your opinion. I just wanted to chime in. I'm a smoker who cares tremendously(quite a bit more than some who don't.) See my previous responses.

3:45 p.m. on May 26, 2011 (EDT)
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I don't say every smoker is suicidal, I say largely suicidal. Perhaps some are suicidal? I don't know maybe one is suicidal.

Anyway I would watch out for the "Someone smoked till ninty and lived argument" cigarettes today are filled with a lot of chemicals. They are not organic tobacco as in years passed.

My toss the cigarette butt anywhere argument is a theroy at best anyway. It maybe that smokers make bad litterbugs because everyone can blame the culprits as a group.

4:15 p.m. on May 26, 2011 (EDT)
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He smoked roll your own(bugler type) and Lucky Strike non-filters(2+ packs a day.) I tried non-filters. Kinda like taking a hit off a bus muffler. :)

Yeah, any kind of garbage on the trail really annoys me. If I wanted to see that I would just camp out in the inner city parks here in Pittsburgh.

12:43 a.m. on June 8, 2011 (EDT)
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man.. what a sensitive nerve this convo has touched.  I believe we all can agree on the negativity and disgust that any bad day-hiker brings with them enough to toss their cigarette and any other flith on our trails.  And Rocklion, being from Soddy Daisy, Im sure I can propbably guess the trail you speak of. I am all too familiar with that feeling.

Do I think smokers are suicidal.. nah. Do I scoff at the very wiff of tobacco smoke in a public place? noway. honestly.. am I the only non-smoker that finds the scent of tobacco halfway pleasant? even as a kid i remember thinking that. And yep, I can even vouch for the whole 'smoked til 90' argument with my WW2 Iwo Jima Vet grandpa who enjoyed copenhagen more than life.

Anyway,  I will admit, as a junior in high school I opted for a bit in the smokeless tobacco route. and that was about as hard to give up as breathing. But I did. So Ive been here and there and can understand each take on the tobacco issue. The bottom line comes though: when I backpack with friends and we enjoy a smoke on a hilltop vista, they understand to pack out their cig butts.  just a common sense and centrist take on the issue.

After All... with about 40 percent Cherokee blood in me, wasn't it was the native american's revenge on the White man the introduction of the cigarette? ;]

6:57 a.m. on June 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Yeah ... but, what was it they packed in those "peace pipes"?

~r2~

9:36 a.m. on July 26, 2011 (EDT)
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ok as someone who has smoked 29 years (ekk) i have to add my two cents, like rick i just strip my smoke and pocket the butt, takes all of two seconds , we always pick up at least one bag of other peoples garbage along the way with a big focus on glass and we even have the kids ( 15,12,and 5) find and carry out trash heck they fight on who found the biggest,worst ect.  anyway my point is its not smokers but a generation of "its not my problem" people who are to blame these are the same idoits who leave public bathroom in such a state that makes you wonder who let the monkey in and got them drunk ok done ranting

5:02 a.m. on July 27, 2011 (EDT)
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"Rant" OK.   I'm with you 100% on these issues.

                                                ~r2~

4:57 p.m. on July 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

Rick ~~

I love your attitude and candidness.   I wish more smokers were like you.

r2

 I agree r2. Rick, as usual, I find another aspect of your character for which to express my respect (Great sense of Humor as well).

I must say candidly that in general I have a difficult time with smokers and their habits. I've had my one rant in Trailspace on the subject (trash on trails original post). I've personally had some run-ins with smokers affecting my health (I'm an asthmatic unfortunately) and my child's, so I'm fairly intollerant.

I appreciate your concern/commitment for making a "positive trace" on the outoors, and I do hate to hear of you having to clean up for the irresponsible who happen to share your same habit. Kudos to you for doing so.

6:28 p.m. on July 27, 2011 (EDT)
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My goats used to eat cigarette butts. They kinda liked them. But you know goats...

I say again, after that first mile from the trailhead, at least around here, most of that stuff disappears. 

 In college I prayed each Summer for smokers to toss their butts; it gave me work to do as a wildland firefighter!

 

7:59 p.m. on July 27, 2011 (EDT)
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To count, in this thread, people have stereotyped:
1) Smokers
2) Dayhikers
3) An entire generation

Rather than continue adding anyone to this list, I'd say its best to take a lesson from Rick et al - Don't behave the same way, pack it out if you will, and teach those around you the same!

10:07 p.m. on July 27, 2011 (EDT)
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I've decided to become a "ridge runner" on the LHHT. Just another way to give a lil back. I love this kind of stuff. :)

Thanks for the mentions. I appreciate it. I really don't think I am doing anything more than what should be done. Its all about respect for the areas you love. So many take things like this for granted. I believe thats part of the reason people dump trash on the trails in the first place, along with the lack of repect for the trail, others, nature, as well as self. Like I said, I bet they would feel pretty jacked if I backed up a tri-axle in their front yard and let er' go...

You have no idea how many empty clif-shot packets I found on my last hike. I had quite a bit of junk when I got to the shelter areas.  Uggghhhh...

Prolly the same moron was dropping them through out the trail. I found them starting at the trail head for the whole 80 miles.

Xterro, my wife is asthmatic. So I can relate.

Even if I smoke in town I typically step away from everyone around me because, well as I said previously, its my habit. I also never flick a cigarette butt on the ground. I roll it out with my fingers and put it in the trash. If there is not a can near me I hold onto it til I find one.

...Its not that hard to do the right thing...

 

3:04 a.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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amen brother...

 

80 miles in? deplorable behavior! Thanks again for doing your part. One selfless act at a time...

6:15 a.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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XterroBrando said:

amen brother...

 

80 miles in? deplorable behavior! Thanks again for doing your part. One selfless act at a time...

  x2

                                                         ~r2~

2:20 p.m. on September 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I agree, this is kind of disturbing. Smoking is your personal choice and I think the world has done a nice job of making life easy for smokers. I mean, who else has their own very special trashcan for the sole purpose of ashes/butts? I'm more of a gum chewer and I don't see gum trashcans, and yet i still find respectful ways to dispose of my "bad habit".

Take the extra time out of your day to try and make someone else's a bit better (start by not littering nature and causing fire danger).

Thoughts/comments welcome!

4:03 p.m. on September 20, 2011 (EDT)
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gerutteltenIX said:

..I think the world has done a nice job of making life easy for smokers. I mean, who else has their own very special trashcan for the sole purpose of ashes/butts?...

Actually the dedicated receptacle is for safety; incorrectly snuffed butt cause trash fires.  Your ire is nevertheless noted.

Ed

1:36 p.m. on September 28, 2011 (EDT)
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While in basic trainning at Fort Jackson, every morning we would line up to police the butts. I just walked with my hands in my pocket, I refused to pick up a single butt. Got into some trouble for that, but I did not pick up any......

2:32 p.m. on September 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Mike Cipriani said:

While in basic trainning at Fort Jackson, every morning we would line up to police the butts. 

 Ahhh, I can relate to this being it was routine at Knox where I did basic/ait(19k10/Armor Div.) We did this in the motor pool, the range, blah blah blah.

It was something that I carried over today. 

October 23, 2014
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