To the editor,
It is bad enough to see the large number of cigarette butts littering our roadsides throughout the year, but it is infuriating to see it during high fire hazard weather. Tossing cigarette butts onto dry grass is blatantly negligent and endangers our communities. If widespread damage or death results, class action lawsuits and criminal prosecution could and should hold the offender accountable.
Cigarette butt pollution ends up in the ocean and is often eaten by fish and sea mammals. It is long past time for smokers to show respect for their communities and wildlife and stop tossing their butts.
Strict enforcement of littering bylaws and anti-pollution laws is clearly required. Offenders need to be charged, convicted, penalized and publicly named.
We thank those who voluntarily clean up the litter and debris of the anti-social polluters. However, why should that not be the obligation of offenders sentenced to public service? They are the people who probably littered in the first place.
Medical science has regularly verified that inhaling the smoke of burning material of any type, tobacco, marijuana, chemicals, etc. including second-hand smoke is hazardous to health. This is especially true for the high proportion of the population with respiratory and cardiovascular illness. It is sadly astounding that, in light of this reality, that anyone would voluntarily smoke at all. Smokers not only jeopardize their own health, but also the health of their family and friends around them.
Wilful blindness is not an excuse.
Gary Korpan, Nanaimo
The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin.
Letters policy: Letters should be no longer than 250 words and will be edited. Preference is given to letters expressing an opinion on issues of local relevance or responding to items published in the News Bulletin. Include your address (it won’t be published) and a first name or two initials, and a surname. Unsigned letters or letters specifically addressing someone else will not be published.
Mail: Letters, Nanaimo News Bulletin, 777 Poplar St., Nanaimo, B.C. V9S 2H7