Butt Why?

Yesterday afternoon, after a frenzy of phone calls to friends to see if anyone would go sailing with him, my husband had me drop the kids off with my in-laws and go with him myself. I don’t do this too often, 1) because the kids don’t much like to sail–the speed and splashed-up water freaks them out a little (and I can’t leave them on the beach alone), and 2) I’m not all that helpful with the rigging, being sort of petite. But yesterday we went, and other than feeling slightly nervous (I don’t much like it when the boat starts tipping) and slightly nauseous, we had a good time. We missed out on the dolphins my husband usually sees jumping right alongside him, so that was a disappointment, but it was still a very nice afternoon.

While we were there, a lady was packing up her kids to leave the beach, and while getting them into their car seats, found she wasn’t nearly as dextrous with a cigarette in her hand. So she threw the longish butt out onto the beach. This bothers me on a variety of levels, but I’ll try to rein myself in to one single rant. My question–and it’s one I’ve puzzled over for some time now–is how can a person who clearly enjoys nature and outdoor pursuits just toss still-burning trash right into the middle of it all? Did she not realize that she was littering? Because cigarette butts are trash, no question. Did she somehow think that one little butt wouldn’t make a difference? Even if that were the case, she probably smoked several cigarettes while at the beach herself, and I’m sure she tossed out all the butts. Does she like going to the beach, driving up to see empty bottles, wrappers, and….CIGARETTE BUTTS?? Not really my idea of a lovely day-at-the beach.

But this happens everywhere. We’ll be hiking in the mountains and see people do the same thing. I don’t get it–it’s counter to common sense. Of course, so is smoking, but that’s another post altogether. In the last house I lived in, my neighbor’s father was a smoker. He used to wander around outside smoking and then toss all the butts into my yard. (Likely his daughter had told him not to drop them in hers). So, I’d find them, and rather than throw them away, I’d toss them right back. Let her find them and chew her dad out for littering. In my opinion, butt-tossers should be fined as litterers, and much more heavily fined for littering in recreational spaces. But I don’t think that’s gonna happen anytime soon. Can you tell this just totally bugs me??
—Rant now over—

Posted in Uncategorized on 06/25/2007 01:50 pm


  1. I’m so with you Alyssa. Unfortunately I do smoke. I’m going to quit just not till after Nationals. I figured there was no sense in driving myself and everyone else crazy while there.

    That said I too hate it when I see people doing that. I’m a very courteous smoker. I don’t throw them out but place them inside something that is covered with water in it and then toss the entire thing out. It’s sealed and doesn’t make a mess of the grounds. At home I only smoke outside on my porch and there I have an ashtray that is emptied and cleaned.

    Again, I know smoking is nasty regardless if you are the smoker or the non-smoker but there is absolutely no reason why any smoker should not be courteous to everyone around.

  2. The guy threw him in YOUR yard? How rude! Did he ever leave his car windows down? THAT seems like the appropriate place to leave his trash.

  3. Maybe they need to make Quitting Smoking some kind of a reality show in order for the idea to catch on…

    Cig butts should totally be “fine-able”!

  4. OMG I agree with every single word you said. Cigarette butts are the worst kind of litter, and IMO so are the ashes flung out the car window. Actually, so is the smoke blown into the air…but that’s another rant I guess :-)

    So glad you had a nice afternoon sailing. I went sailing once, and it was fun but I had to take dramamine!

  5. Just another example of how mindless people go through their day. Taking for granted what they use up every day. It’s a shame and it does happen all over and with more than cigerette butts. Agrivating doesn’t even tough it. LC

  6. Catherine Avril Morris

    Yeah, I completely agree. I smoked for 10 years, and I think I was every bit as self-righteous and unconscious about that kind of thing as any other smoker. It’s just such a habit, and so intrinsic to your day and your lifestyle and identity, that you just don’t think about those things. Then, when you quit…ugh. It all becomes so disgusting and senseless and etc. I’ll bet that nature-lovin’ smoker lady just totally didn’t even think about it, because tossing the butt away was such a natural part of her day. Sad, innit? I hope she quits sometime!! I know it’s one of the best things I ever did!

  7. Amen! I can’t agree with you more. I honestly wish smoking was against the law. Not only do cigarette butts gross me out, but I can’t seem to escape from ending up behind someone who is smoking in their car or from being on an elevator with someone who has just been smoking. I’m sensitive to smell and it gives me a headache for the rest of the day. I really think that CAM said it right when she said it’s so intrinsic to some smokers. I wish they would just realize how much their lifestyle affects the rest of us. And congrats to you, CAM, for giving it up! :)

  8. Ava Rose Johnson

    Ugh, I know. This really bugs me too. It just seems so lazy, there are trash cans everywhere. Grrrrrr

    Also Alyssa, I hope you don’t mind but I tagged you. The details are at my blog

  9. Alyssa Goodnight

    Yay to Catherine who’s already quit and hooray for Vicki who plans to! That’s great, ya’ll!

    And Virginia, you may be onto something there with that reality show idea. Except that people may actually start smoking thinking they could get on the show…

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