Ocean City Today

Smokers: pick up those butts or else

Jul 06, 2017



printed 07/07/2017


People who indulge in smoking either are, or should be aware of the health-related consequences.

But whether they are or aren’t, no excuse exists for being inconsiderate of others who don’t take kindly to being exposed to whiffs of burning tobacco or the excessive litter many smokers leave behind.

It is true that some nonsmokers seem to go a little overboard in their expressions of disgust, as they stand on the sidewalk seemingly unfazed by the hovering cloud of car exhaust while wrinkling their noses at the sight of a burning cigarette several feet away.

Even so, that doesn’t give smokers license to be defiant or unthinking jerks, especially when 80 percent of this country’s population doesn’t want to smell cigarettes or see their remnants strewn all over the streets.

The latter is one of the worst side effects of the Boardwalk smoking ban, as smokers huddle at street ends and next to buildings for a nicotine interlude.

Inexplicably, many of these people believe that flicking their filtered cigarette butts on the ground is perfectly acceptable or, if it isn’t, that’s just too bad.

Unfortunately, someone, likely the property owner or business operator, has to clean up that mess daily, and sometimes more often than that.

Leaving cigarette butts behind isn’t just discourteous, it’s stupid. Trash receptacles are all around the Boardwalk, and smokers could take care of the problem themselves by pocketing their spent smokes and disposing of them later.

Undoubtedly, some would complain that lining their pants pockets with loose tobacco, ashes and tar-laden filters is stinky, dirty and just plain messy.

They would be right about that, but that’s also why it’s wrong to make their discards someone else’s problem. If smokers don’t want to be kicked off downtown streets altogether, they had better start cleaning up after themselves and recognize that sympathy for their situation does not exist.

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