It is infuriating to see cigarette butts discarded during high fire hazard weather, says letter writer. (Stock photo)

It is infuriating to see cigarette butts discarded during high fire hazard weather, says letter writer. (Stock photo)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Smokers who toss their butts should be named, shamed

Tossing cigarette butts onto dry grass endangers our communities, says letter writer

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


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