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Cigarette butts and other postconsumer products from tobacco use are the most common waste elements picked up worldwide each year during environmental cleanups. Under the environmental principle of Extended Producer Responsibility, tobacco product manufacturers may be held responsible for collection, transport, processing and safe disposal of tobacco product waste (TPW). Legislation has been applied to other toxic and hazardous postconsumer waste products such as paints, pesticide containers and unused pharmaceuticals, to reduce, prevent and mitigate their environmental impacts. Additional product stewardship (PS) requirements may be necessary for other stakeholders and beneficiaries of tobacco product sales and use, especially suppliers, retailers and consumers, in order to ensure effective TPW reduction. This report describes how a Model Tobacco Waste Act may be adopted by national and subnational jurisdictions to address the environmental impacts of TPW. Such a law will also reduce tobacco use and its health consequences by raising attention to the environmental hazards of TPW, increasing the price of tobacco products, and reducing the number of tobacco product retailers.
Tobacco industry responsibility for butts: a Model
Tobacco Waste Act
Clifton Curtis,
Thomas E Novotny,
Kelley Lee,
Mike Freiberg,
Ian McLaughlin
Additional material is
published online only. To view
please visit the journal online
Cigarette Butt Pollution
Project, Washington, USA
Graduate School of Public
Health, San Diego State
University, , San Diego,
California, USA
Faculty of Health Sciences,
Simon Fraser University,
Burnaby, British Columbia,
Public Health Law Center,
William Mitchell College of
Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
ChangeLab Solutions,
Oakland, California, USA
Correspondence to
Clifton Curtis, JD, Policy
Director, Cigarette Butt
Pollution Project, 3409 Quebec
St NW, Washington, DC
Received 4 October 2015
Accepted 9 January 2016
To cite: Curtis C,
Novotny TE, Lee K, et al.
Tob Control Published
Online First: [please include
Day Month Year]
Cigarette butts and other postconsumer products from
tobacco use are the most common waste elements
picked up worldwide each year during environmental
cleanups. Under the environmental principle of Extended
Producer Responsibility, tobacco product manufacturers
may be held responsible for collection, transport,
processing and safe disposal of tobacco product waste
(TPW). Legislation has been applied to other toxic and
hazardous postconsumer waste products such as paints,
pesticide containers and unused pharmaceuticals, to
reduce, prevent and mitigate their environmental
impacts. Additional product stewardship (PS)
requirements may be necessary for other stakeholders
and beneciaries of tobacco product sales and use,
especially suppliers, retailers and consumers, in order to
ensure effective TPW reduction. This report describes
how a Model Tobacco Waste Act may be adopted by
national and subnational jurisdictions to address the
environmental impacts of TPW. Such a law will also
reduce tobacco use and its health consequences by
raising attention to the environmental hazards of TPW,
increasing the price of tobacco products, and reducing
the number of tobacco product retailers.
While the environmental impacts of tobacco
product waste (TPW) are less known than the
health effects of tobacco use, the former are cause
for public concern and possible regulation through
legislative action. Cigarette butts are the most com-
monly discarded waste product in the world, and
almost 6.3 trillion cigarettes were consumed glo-
bally in 2012. Observational studies and self-
reports by smokers suggest that from one to
two-thirds of the butts from smoked cigarettes are
tossed by smokers into the surrounding environ-
ment, buried in landlls, or dumped into storm
These may now be considered a non-point
source of toxic, hazardous waste and thus subject
to regulatory control.
There are numerous environmental concerns
regarding the production and use of tobacco pro-
ducts throughout their lifecycle. Tobacco leaf
growing and processing involves heavy pesticide
and petroleum-based fertiliser use, land degrad-
ation and deforestation.
Additional waste concerns
arise from tobacco manufacturing, packaging, dis-
tribution and combustion. These concerns include
the production of greenhouse gases (CO
methane) released by manufacturing, transport and
smoking of tobacco products; environmental toxins
found in secondhand smoke; and newly described
toxic residuals known as thirdhand smoke that are
found in homes and other enclosed environments
where smoking has occurred.
ATobacco Control Supplement published in
2011 summarised multiple concerns regarding the
environmental impact of TPW, and presented
policy options to prevent, reduce and mitigate
these impacts. As a brief review of this special sup-
plement, there are 7000 chemicals contained in
cigarettes, and many of them, such as ethyl phenol,
heavy metals and nicotine, are themselves toxic. At
least 50 are known human carcinogens; others have
been found to be toxic to marine and freshwater
and poisonous to humans and animals.
Aquatic systems, such as shorelines and waterways,
may be the most vulnerable environments, as the
majority of land-based litter ultimately is deposited
into them. In addition, there are externalised costs
borne by communities and local/state governments
due to cleanup of TPW.
The vast majority of man-
ufactured cigarettes sold today include lters that
are usually made of cellulose acetate, a non-
biodegradable plastic. While ultraviolet rays may
eventually break lters into smaller pieces, the
source material never disappears.
Persisting for up
to 10 years, they are the major environmental
concern regarding TPW because they are a visible
community nuisance and they leach out toxic che-
micals. According to the broken windowstheory
around public nuisances, researchers have found
that if people see one norm or rule being violated
(such as grafti or illegal parking), they are more
likely to violate otherssuch as butt littering.
Although ltered cigarettes have been marketed
by the tobacco industry for decades with the impli-
cation that they are safer, their main effects have
been to reduce the machine-measured yields of tar
and nicotine, to discourage smokers from quitting,
and to make it easier for young people to become
addicted. However, the 2014 US Surgeon Generals
Report on the Health Consequences of Smoking
found that there is no benet from product
designs, such as the cellulose acetate lter, in redu-
cing the individual or population risks of smoking.
In fact, risks for the more aggressive type of lung
cancer (adenocarcinoma) have increased since
introduction of ltered cigarettes. Regardless of
their health risk to smokers, lters pose a serious
litter and toxic waste disposal challenge. The mar-
keting of ltered cigarettes as saferas well as the
lack of recognition by smokers of the environmen-
tal impact of discarded lters represent informa-
tion asymmetrybetween the consumers and
producers of tobacco products.
Correcting this
asymmetry through regulation will likely lead to
both reduced tobacco consumption and less envir-
onmental contamination by TPW. Although a
Curtis C, et al.Tob Control 2016;0:15. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052737 1
Special communication
TC Online First, published on March 3, 2016 as 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052737
Copyright Article author (or their employer) 2016. Produced by BMJ Publishing Group Ltd under licence. on March 3, 2016 - Published by from
proprietary effort to establish a cigarette butt recycling pro-
gramme (supported by the tobacco industry) has been made,
that effort and other cleanup campaigns address a miniscule
quantity of TPW. For example, the Ocean Conservancy reports
that approximately 52 million cigarettes have been picked up
globally in 27 years of cleanups.
With trillions dumped each
year, these downstream solutions will never be measurably
effective in reducing TPW in the environment. It is also unlikely
that there are safe options for reusing or recycling the toxic,
hazardous components of TPW. Instead, the focus of managing
postconsumer TPW should be directed towards reducing pro-
duction, changing the product design, preventing littering, con-
ducting cleanups as monitoring rather than abatement
programmes, and developing safe disposal technologies for
On the basis of experience involving the pesticide, paint and
pharmaceutical industries, it can be argued that the tobacco
industry is responsible for numerous environmental problems
throughout the tobacco product life cycle.
However, the indus-
try has rmly held that the responsibility of cigarette waste
belongs to the smoker,
although, as described elsewhere,
industry efforts to persuade smokers to take on that responsibil-
ity have not been successful.
It has also been found that
smokers were defensive about discarding their tobacco butts and
thus not very receptive to antilittering efforts.
In fact, littering
behaviour studies have found a littering rate of 17% overall, but
for cigarette butt littering, this was 65%.
With a goal of shifting responsibility for TPW to the smoker,
the industrys response to the butt waste problem has been to
encourage cleanup efforts through corporate social responsibil-
ity partnerships with environmental groups, the use of hand-
held ashtrays for smokers, and the placement of butt waste
disposal receptacles in public places. Although tobacco industry-
sponsored environmental groups claim correlation between
reduced butt waste and placement of receptacles,
evaluation of these efforts has not been done. Moreover, these
approaches should be recognised as downstream solutions to an
upstream waste problem; they put the blame for TPW onto end
users rather than to the manufacturers of a product that gener-
ates toxic waste once used. This is a blame the victimresponse,
not a source-based approach to waste reduction and prevention.
The industrys long-standing efforts to avoid responsibility have
also included attempts to develop biodegradable lters.
However, it was concluded that biodegradable lters would
likely encourage even more littering and, in fact, would not be
From a tobacco control perspective, a variety of initiatives can
help prevent, reduce and mitigate the environmental impacts of
TPW. These measures include banning smoking in outdoor,
indoor and workplace areas; applying additional litter fees on
tobacco products to pay for cleanup and anti-TPW programmes;
and levying nes for littering that specically include TPW.
While not yet operational, other potential initiatives include
banning the sale of single-use, disposable lters; litigation for
damages associated with TPW environmental impacts; product
labelling regarding TPW disposal as hazardous waste; and enact-
ment of laws that make tobacco producers and sellers respon-
sible for cleaning up and safely disposing of TPW.
This Special Communication explores that last policy
approach, which is based on the environmental principle of
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). We have developed a
Model Tobacco Waste Act which may be adapted at the national
or subnational level to implement such an approach.First we
discuss EPR and product stewardship (PS) principles that are the
foundation for such an Act. Next, we present the core provi-
sions in the Model Act and discuss relevant potential barriers to
implementation, limitations on efcacy and implications for
tobacco control outcomes. The Model Tobacco Waste Act is pre-
sented in the online supplementary le to this paper.
EPR is a policy principle that promotes environmental protec-
tion by extending the responsibilities of the producer across the
products entire life cycle.
As set out by Lindhqvist,
addresses three core tenets:
1. Internalise the environmental cost of products into their
retail price.
2. Shift the economic burden of managing toxicity and other
environmental harm associated with postconsumer waste
from local governments and taxpayers, to producers.
3. Provide incentives to producers to incorporate environmen-
tal considerations into the design of their products.
For the effective application of those tenets, Lindhqvist includes
four specic categories of producer responsibility:
1. Liability: The responsibility for proved environmental
damages caused by the product in question; the extent of
liability is determined by legislation and may embrace differ-
ent parts of the product life cycle, including usage and nal
2. Economic: The producer covers part or all of the expenses
for the collection, recycling, or nal disposal of the products
manufactured; these expenses could be paid for directly by
the producer or through a special fee collected by sellers.
3. Physical: Manufacturer is involved in the physical manage-
ment of the product and its environmental impacts through-
out its life cycle.
4. Informative: Producer must supply information on the envir-
onmental risks of the products manufactured.
Complementing EPR-based interventions, the PS principle
requires that, throughout the product lifecycle, all stakeholders
who participate in growing, designing, producing, distributing,
selling and using products share various responsibilities to
reduce the negative environmental impacts at the end of
product life.
Among these responsibilities, government agen-
cies, citizen groups, greenbusiness enterprises, or academic
researchers might conduct informational activities, publish
op-eds, conduct scientic research, or advocate about a given
products environmental hazards. Postconsumer waste may
involve hazardous materials, and therefore, sellers of these pro-
ducts must inform consumers about proper disposal. PS also
underlies voluntary cleanup efforts for postconsumer waste
Over the past two to three decades there has been some con-
fusion regarding the roles of EPR and PS. As presented above,
EPR focuses on the tobacco producer as the party mainly
responsible for prevention and mitigation of TPW. PS provides
for complementary responsibilities among all stakeholders,
while holding the producer mainly responsible for the four cat-
egories of producer responsibility described above. Thus, the
two principles may work in consort to address the environmen-
tal impacts of TPW.
Regarding TPW, EPR and PS focus on product design as well
as take-back, recycling and nal disposal of postconsumer waste.
TPW-related EPR and PS interventions could include:
1. Mandating corporate take-back programmes for TPW, both
as individual and collective activities of tobacco companies;
2 Curtis C, et al.Tob Control 2016;0:15. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052737
Special communication on March 3, 2016 - Published by from
2. Shifting product disposal management responsibilities away
from local communities and taxpayers to producers, distribu-
tors and consumers of tobacco products;
3. Enabling cost recovery schemes to fund EPR programme
management, implementation and compliance through
4. Collecting TPW from beaches, parks, campuses or neigh-
bourhoods as a way of raising awareness about tobacco use
and the impact of TPW;
5. Changing the product such that it creates less waste at the
end of life. This could include eliminating sales of the cellu-
lose acetate lter.
With regard to tobacco control, the application of EPR/PS
principles to TPW legislation may also create important public
health outcomes by: (1) further denormalising tobacco use and
increasing anti-industry sentiments; (2) increasing the cost of
tobacco products; (3) enacting new tobacco product regulations
to make the product less marketable; (4) strengthening existing
anti-litter and outdoor smoking prohibitions and (5) forging
new alliances with environmental advocacy, tobacco control and
regulatory groups. With these issues in mind, it is highly likely
that a substantial reduction in tobacco use will result from the
implementation of EPR/PS-based legislation on TPW. It is also
likely that tobacco product retailers might consider the difcul-
ties in participating in a take-back programme for TPW unten-
able for their continued tobacco business model. Finally,
increasing public attention to TPW and how the tobacco indus-
try is responsible for this waste may have benecial impacts
among smokers. This is essentially an anti-industry strategy that
may serve to reinforce intentions to quit as part of social norma-
tive changes based on environmental concerns.
The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) is a US-based non-prot
organisation ( that works
with a variety of governmental, private sector and non-prot
partners to implement some of the 89 EPR/PS-based state laws
currently operative in 33 states. These laws address 12 different
waste products including: appliances with refrigerants, switches,
batteries, carpets, cell phones, electronics, orescent lighting,
mattresses, mercury thermostats, paint, pesticide containers and
pharmaceuticals. The Model Tobacco Waste Act (see online
supplementary le) is based on the well-established principles
underlying such laws in the USA and Europe. For example, the
Framework Principles for (PS) Policywas developed in 2008
2009 by ve US state stewardship councils and British
In 2012, the PS and EPR Denitions and
Principleswere adopted by the Product Policy Institute, the PSI
and the California Product Stewardship Council. They were
then endorsed in 2013 by a diverse mix of businesses, steward-
ship organisations, academia, governments, government coun-
cils, non-prot organisations and consulting groups.
The Model Tobacco Waste Acts core provisions draw heavily
from the 2009/2013 Oregon PaintCare law, which established
the rst US paint stewardship programme in 2010.
It requires
paint manufacturers to nance and operate a system for retriev-
ing, transporting and processing leftover paint, which, like TPW,
contains toxic substances. All programme activities are funded
by the paint industry, and the responsible entity (PaintCare
Incorporated) is managed directly by the industry. Additional
features involve accountability to government for: plan
approvals and amendments, goals and performance standards,
education and outreach programmes, annual reports, annual
stakeholder meetings, and privacy considerations. While these
and other features may be readily transferable to a TPW EPR/PS
programme, the major difference between the two products is
that leftover paint is signicantly less toxic and far more amen-
able to recycling than cigarette butts. In 2012, for example,
over 70% of all leftover latex paint collected by PaintCare
Incorporated was used to make recycled-content paint.
Enforcement of an EPR/PS-based TPW regime may be chal-
lenging, given what is known about the smokerslack of adher-
ence to existing litter laws. To address enforcement (section 14
Enforcement and Penalties, see online supplementary le), we
reviewed section 7 of the model Cigarette Fire Safety Standard
and Fireghter Protection Act.
The Coalition for Fire-Safe
Cigarettes drafted this model law based on re prevention regu-
lations developed by the New York State Ofce of Fire
Prevention and Control. After 3 years of deliberation and with
input from the public and affected parties, the State of
New York State passed the rst re-safe cigarettelaw in the
USA in 2004. Today, all US states and Canadian provinces have
adopted laws requiring that cigarettes sold in these jurisdictions
have reduced combustibility. The rst ve types of enforcement
approaches in that Act have been adapted for inclusion in the
Model Tobacco Waste Act, and they are applicable to tobacco
producers (broadly dened), retailers and consumers. They
provide for court actions for injunctive relief or to recover any
costs or damages suffered by the (State) because of a violation
of the Act, including enforcement costs related to the specic
violation and for attorneys fees.
A potential barrier to passing EPR/PS-based TPW legislation
is the fear of pre-emption of subnational actions by national
governments. This fear has not been realised in practice to date.
In 2009, the US Congress enacted the Family Smoking
Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA), which provided the
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the authority to
regulate tobacco products for the benet of public health.
Tobacco product standards, including new product marketing,
additives, labelling, and manufacturing standards are solely the
FDAs responsibility. However, state and local authorities were
expressly allowed to adopt tobacco control laws that deal with
distribution, possession, sale, advertising, promotion and re
safety. In an analysis of possible national pre-emption of local
TPW regulation, Freiberg
found that a state or local law
making tobacco producers responsible for cleaning up and prop-
erly disposing of TPW would not be pre-empted by FDA regula-
tory jurisdiction. Nonetheless, specic antipre-emption language
may be included in state or local laws.
Finally, with the dramatic increase in the use of e-cigarettes,
specic language may be needed to cover the chemicals, batter-
ies and detritus produced as waste by this new but largely
unregulated consumer product. The small size of disposable e-
cigarettes facilitate their becoming e-waste, and this waste has
been shown to contain lead as well as nicotine (if not fully con-
Additional research is needed to identify potential
toxicants, re risks and difcult-to-recycle materials used in
making the product.
Given the numerous toxic chemicals found in tobacco products
and TPW and the ubiquity of TPW in the environment, a strong
case can be made that product alterations as well as effective
prevention, clean up and safe disposal efforts are badly needed
to address the TPW problem. In this context, there is much to
learn from environmental policies for other toxic waste pro-
ducts, such as obsolete pesticides and their containers, medical
Curtis C, et al.Tob Control 2016;0:15. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052737 3
Special communication on March 3, 2016 - Published by from
waste, and unused paints. Disposal of such substances into
municipal landlls or incineration is generally recognised as
unsafe. Applying these models to TPW, safely managed take-
back programmes, including collection services, transportation
and closed, monitored regional TPW disposal sites are needed.
These and other related services should be paid for by tobacco
producers according to EPR and PS principles.
While EPR is put forward as a legislative approach, it asserts
that the manufacturer would be strictly liable for TPW. Several
legal theories pertaining to liability are addressed in detail in a
Tulane Environmental Law Journal article that explores several
potential litigation-related causes of actions that could be applic-
able to TPW.
Public nuisance may be the strongest approach,
although product liability and state hazardous waste laws could
also successfully hold cigarette manufacturers liable for TPW.
Raising awareness about the environmental consequences of
tobacco use and the responsibility of the tobacco industry for
these consequences will require media messaging and actions by
governments in order to succeed. These actions may reinforce
global approaches to environmental protection, including inter-
ventions to slow climate change, and they may mobilise new part-
nerships between tobacco control and environmental advocates.
The Model Tobacco Waste Act presented in the online
supplementary le to this report is a starting point from which
national, subnational and local governments can begin to
address the substantial and growing environmental concerns
regarding tobacco products worldwide. These programmes will
raise the cost of tobacco use, make it more difcult for retailers
to participate in the tobacco product market, denormalise and
formally recognise that tobacco use is not only deadly to
humans, but hazardous to the environment as well.
What this paper adds
This Special Communications provides a novel approach to
tobacco control through the environmental principle of Extended
Producer Responsibility. It describes a Tobacco Waste Act to
prevent, reduce and mitigate tobacco product waste. This Act
will internalise the burden of tobacco waste management to the
producer and consumer, thereby increasing costs of smoking,
further denormalising tobacco use as offensive to the
environment, and possibly reducing retail accessibility of
tobacco products.
Acknowledgements The authors wish to thank Heather Lewis of ChangeLab
Solutions, Oakland, California, for her review of drafts of the Model Tobacco Waste
Act. The authors wish to think the Truth Initiative (Washington, DC), for their kind
assistance in producing the video abstract for this article.
Contributors CC and TEN conceived of this article and the Model Tobacco Waste
Act (see online supplementary le); CC composed rst draft of the submitted article
and the initial draft of Model Tobacco Waste Act, and TEN substantially edited the
initial article draft and nalised the submitted article. KL provided substantial editing
to the draft manuscript and Model Tobacco Waste Act. IMcL and MF contributed to
development of the Model Tobacco Waste Act and to editing of the nal article
Funding This work was supported by the US National Cancer Institute of the US
National Institutes of Health under award No. 2R01CA091021-10A1 and by the
University of California Ofce of the Presidents Tobacco-related Disease Research
Program under award No. 21XT-0030.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement We would like to include our Model Legislation as a
online supplementary le.
Open Access This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which
permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially,
and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is
properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
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Curtis C, et al.Tob Control 2016;0:15. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052737 5
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Model Tobacco Waste Act
Tobacco industry responsibility for butts: a
Clifton Curtis, Thomas E Novotny, Kelley Lee, Mike Freiberg and Ian
published online March 1, 2016Tob Control
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... [2][3][4][5] In addition, the cellulose acetate filter, found on nearly all commercially sold cigarettes, may have significant environmental impacts, facilitated by decades of tobacco industry misinformation and avoidance of producer responsibility. [6][7][8][9][10][11] Banning the sale and production of filtered cigarettes is a proposed solution to minimise these impacts by changing the product. 10 12 13 The WHO and other agencies have recommended eliminating plastic filters to reduce the global impact of this waste. ...
Background Behavioural research is needed to inform a ban on sales of filtered cigarettes that could reduce plastic waste due to discarded filters. This study reports on differences in perceptions, nicotine dependence and behaviour among participants in a cross-over randomised trial of filtered compared with unfiltered cigarettes. Method This proof-of-concept study involved 43 people who smoke filtered cigarettes (41.9% women, mean age 36.7 years). Participants were provided 2 weeks’ supply of filtered cigarettes, 2 weeks of the same brand of unfiltered cigarettes and randomly assigned to starting conditions. Measures included the Modified Cigarette Evaluation Questionnaire; single-item cigarette perception questions; Fagerström Test of Nicotine Dependence; 7-day cigarette consumption, urinary cotinine and intention to quit. Analyses included linear and ordinal repeated measures mixed-effects models and paired t-tests. Results Filtered cigarettes were perceived as better tasting, more satisfying, more enjoyable, less aversive, less harsh, less potent and less negatively reinforcing than unfiltered cigarettes. Filtered cigarettes were smoked at a higher rate during the trial than unfiltered cigarettes (p < 0.05). There was no difference in cotinine, dependence or intention to quit between filtered versus unfiltered cigarette conditions (p>0.05). Conclusion People who smoke perceived unfiltered cigarettes as having greater nicotine effects and less desirable sensory effects than filtered cigarettes, and they smoked fewer of these during the trial. Although cotinine, dependence and intention to quit were similar for smoking unfiltered and filtered cigarettes in this small trial, results suggest that banning the sale of filtered cigarettes might make smoking less attractive overall to people who smoke. Trial registration number NCT03749876 .
... The burden of marine debris is increasing worldwide (Keller et al., 2010) and is comprised of very different waste types (de Scisciolo et al., 2016;Hengstmann et al., 2017;Pasternak et al., 2017;Suciu et al., 2017). Cigarette butts (CBs) are one of the most common parts of marine debris (Asensio-Montesinos et al., 2019;Silva et al., 2018;Schultz et al., 2009;Dobaradaran et al., 2019;Curtis et al., 2017), and approximately one-third to two-thirds of CBs are released directly into the environment by smokers and not destroyed into solid waste management systems (Novotny and Slaughter, 2014). Hence, these deposited wastes may eventually reach the aquatic environments. ...
Cigarette butts (CBs) are the most frequently littered pieces of environmental wastes which are released both directly and indirectly into the environment and finally may reach aquatic environments and contaminate aquatic biomes. However, to date, there is no comprehensive review on the extent and magnitude of the potential effects of CBs on aquatic organisms. Hence, a systematic review of published studies was conducted in this paper to survey the fate of CBs in the aquatic environments and also the impacts of exposure to CBs on survival, growth, and reproduction of aquatic organisms. The gathered data showed that the leachates of CBs in the aquatic environment could extremely be toxic for various organisms and increasing the exposure time, increases the mortality rate. In addition, smoked filtered CBs with tobacco remnants have higher mortality rate compared to unsmoked filtered butts (USFs) for Hymenochirus curtipes, Clarias gariepinus, tidepool snails, Atherinops affinis and Pimephales promelas. The fate of CBs in the aquatic environments is affected by various factors, and prior to sinking they are floated for a long time (long distance). Hence, CBs and their associated toxic chemicals might be ingested by diverse aquatic organisms. However, further studies are necessary to understand the exact toxicity of CBs on different freshwater and marine organisms and also their fate in the aquatic media. The results of this review showed the essentiality of regulations to prevent the release of chemical and toxic compounds into the aquatic environments.
... Cigarette butts and other post-consumer products from tobacco use are the most common waste elements picked up worldwide during environmental clean-ups (Curtis et al., 2017). It results in a problem for discards. ...
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Cigarette product waste contains toxic chemicals, including human carcinogens, which leach into and accumulate in the environment and represent a current environmental problem neglected for too long. This study aimed to select filamentous fungi capable of decreasing tobacco extract toxicity as an alternative to a future bioremediation process. The 38 isolates obtained from Culture collection of microorganisms to biotechnological and environmental importance – CCMIBA (Brazil) were cultivated in yeast extract (10 g.L⁻¹) and dextrose (10 g.L⁻¹) containing cigarette tobacco extract (200 mL.L⁻¹) for seven days at 28 °C on a rotary shaker at 150 rpm. The fungal growth rate was determined to infer fungal tolerance to tobacco extract, and supernatants from cultivated fungi were used to run the toxicity test using Allium cepa assay. The Fusarium sp. strain I.17, isolated from cigarette waste, was the only lineage capable of growing in 20% (v/v) of cigarette tobacco extract, allowed the onions to root, and was selected for optimization. Initially, for the experimental design to selected fungus, a fractional factorial experimental design 2⁵⁻¹ was used to examine the effects of yeast extract, cigarette tobacco extract concentration, dextrose, copper sulfate and pH fungal cultivation. The supernatants of these assays were used to run the toxicity test, and yeast extract and copper sulfate were statistically significant in the fungal growth for the decreasing toxicity process and this variable as were select to central composite design. The highest concentration of yeast extract negatively influenced the toxicity decrease, 0.5% of yeast extract in the culture media is the maximum concentration to achieve the best result and to copper sulfate the best result was using 10 μmol.L⁻¹. In conclusion, the experimental design optimized more than seven times the efficiency of tobacco toxicity reducing, resulting in more than 50% of onion root growth, demonstrating the methodology success. And ITS region was used to taxonomy and molecular phylogeny of the isolate Fusarium sp. strain I.17. These results suggest that Fusarium sp. strain I.17 can be used as a potential microorganism to toxicity treatment of cigarette wastes, minimizing the environmental impact of direct burning.
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Objective: Tobacco taxes are a well-established cost-effective policy to prevent Noncommunicable Diseases. This paper evaluates the expected effects of a tobacco tax increase on the Sustainable Development Goals in Colombia. Methods: We use microsimulation to build an artificial society that mimics the observed characteristics of Colombia’s population, and from there we simulate the behavioral response to a tax increase of COP$4,750 (an increase that has been discussed by policy makers and legislators) and the subsequent effects in all SDGs. Results: The tobacco tax hike reduces the number of smokers (from 4.51 to 3.45 MM smokers) and smoking intensity, resulting in a drop in the number of cigarettes smoked in Colombia (from 332.3 to 215.5 MM of 20-stick packs). Such reduction is expected to decrease premature mortality, healthcare costs, poverty and people facing catastrophic expenditure on healthcare, to increase health, income and gender equity, and to strengthen domestic resource mobilization even in the presence of illicit cigarettes. Conclusion: Tobacco taxes are an effective intervention for public health and a powerful instrument to advance on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Relevance: A comprehensive analysis of the impact of tobacco taxes on all areas of Sustainable Development is missing in the empirical literature. Such perspective is needed to break the barriers for further tobacco tax increases by gathering wider societal support, especially from stakeholders and key decision makers from development areas other than health. SDG Nr: SDG3 (health), SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 4 (education), SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG6 (water), SDG10 (inequality), SDG12 (responsible production and consumption), SDG17 (partnerships).
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Litter is one of the most pervasive and fastest-growing anthropogenic alterations of the World's coasts and oceans. Along with climate change, litter has been identified as one of humankind's most critical environmental problems that demand urgent solutions. Litter magnitudes and distribution, and the related detrimental environmental effects, have been documented in all existing coastal and marine environments (e.g., beaches, dunes, abyssal plains and submarine canyons, among others). Litter's presence is now so ubiquitous in the environment that it serves as a geological indicator of the Anthropocene. As part of the solution to this out-of-hand problem, Marine Pollution Bulletin has produced this Special Issue entitled “Litter in Coastal and Marine Environments”. This collection of 37 papers provides a focal point for such related current studies and, in part, seeks to discuss implementing specific management strategies under different scenarios. No single solution exists to cope with the litter issue. However, legally binding global governance that will effectively limit and control the magnitude of litter pollution is greatly needed. The topical range of this collection of papers includes case studies focussing on litter types (mainly dominated by plastics), sources, impacts and solutions.
Cigarette butts, one of the most littered items globally, present a unique challenge to ecosystems due to their ubiquity, persistence, and potential for harm. Over 35 studies have examined the toxicity of cigarette butts in biota from aquatic and terrestrial habitats from microbes to mice, but many organisms and habitats have not been tested. Two-thirds of studies are on aquatic organisms, and lethal effects were common. Research on the impacts on terrestrial life is lagging behind. Cigarette butts can affect the growth, behaviour, and reproductive output of individual organisms in all three habitats, but research on wider effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is lacking. Here, we summarise the ecotoxicological concerns and identify important knowledge gaps for future research.
Intense human use and high construction density in coastal areas are stressors to sandy beaches. Pollution by marine debris is a major problem on beaches worldwide. This study pioneered an assessment of marine debris characterization over time on beaches with different levels of access. In two periods and seasons, marine debris was sampled on nine sandy beaches of Rio de Janeiro, grouped by levels of access. The general marine debris density has decreased over time, accompanied by an improvement in public cleaning mechanisms. The most important predictor for the majority of marine debris items is related to accessibility; beaches with restricted access showed a reduction in the abundance of most items. High marine debris densities, even on beaches with restricted access, showed that all evaluated beaches can be sinks for marine debris circulating in marine waters. Beach cleaning strategy improvements will be inefficient unless integrated marine debris management is implemented.
Despite representing an extremely relevant portion (20–40%) of worldwide coastal litter, cigarette butts are still an underestimate environmental issue of limited scientific interest. Public authorities of different countries promote active removal of cigarette butts, but the issue remains problematic in terms of aesthetic, environmental and health-related impacts. There are few studies on the environmental side-effects of smoked cigarette butt litter despite being a worldwide issue. In this work, two ecotoxicological bioassay batteries were adopted to evaluate the environmental consequences of cigarette butt water-soluble ingredient release in both marine water and freshwater. Marine assays were generally more affected compared to freshwater. Interesting outcomes were observed with crustacean tests, showing a lower effect of smoked cigarette butt leachate when tested at maximum concentration. This finding were supported by heartbeat measures of Daphnia magna, which were accelerated at 100% of smoked cigarette butt leachate.
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Introduction: Tobacco control research and advocacy has yet to capitalize on understanding the tobacco industry supply chain. The objective of this narrative review is to expose the processes, actors and supporting industries involved in tobacco production, laying the groundwork to expand the scope of tobacco control beyond the transnational tobacco companies (TTCs). Methods: We reviewed 69 academic articles (2013 to 2019) and five tobacco industry journal issues. Results: We identify six major processes in tobacco production: farming, primary processing of the leaf, secondary processing into products such as cigarettes, packaged product, usage by smokers, and decay. Supply chain actors include seed and plant retailers, farmers, leaf processors, wholesalers, brokers and middlemen, manufacturers, retailers, smokers and refuse collectors with considerable variation in intermediate actors by location. Supporting industries supply additives, machinery, packaging, logistics, marketing, and research and development (R&D). Conclusions: This expanded understanding of the supply chain can enable wider appreciation of the various incentives and risks of being involved in the industry, all of which is important information to feed into tobacco control policies. Researchers and campaigners, seeking to design effective policy preventing the expansion of this industry and the health harms it produces, need to look beyond the TTCs to identify under-exploited leverage points along the entire tobacco supply chain.
Outdoor mesocosms with constantly flowing natural seawater were used to test the effects of littered cigarette butts on the filter feeder Mytilus edulis (blue mussel), the macroalga, Ulva lactuca (sea lettuce) and sediment microphytobenthos in a semi-natural marine setting. Either conventional, cellulose acetate, or biodegradable, cellulose, smoked cigarette butts were added at densities of 0.25 or 1 butt L-1. The clearance rates of mussels exposed to 1 butt L-1 of cellulose acetate butts were three times less than the controls. The growth of U. lactuca was not measurably affected by cigarette butts, however the sediment chlorophyll content was significantly less in mesocosms exposed to 0.25 and 1 butt L-1 of cellulose acetate butts. These effects occurred despite constant replacement of seawater indicating how hazardous conventional cigarette butts are to marine life. Biodegradable cellulose cigarette butts had minimal effects on the measured variables but should still not be discarded as litter.
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The health consequences of tobacco use are well known, but less recognized are the significant environmental impacts of tobacco production and use. The environmental impacts of tobacco include tobacco growing and curing; product manufacturing and distribution; product consumption; and post-consumption waste. The World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control addresses environmental concerns in Articles 17 and 18, which primarily apply to tobacco agriculture. Article 5.3 calls for protection from policy interference by the tobacco industry regarding the environmental harms of tobacco production and use. We detail the environmental impacts of the tobacco life-cycle and suggest policy responses.
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This paper reviews several environmental principles, including Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), Product Stewardship (PS), the Polluter Pays Principle (PPP), and the Precautionary Principle, as they may apply to tobacco product waste (TPW). The review addresses specific criteria that apply in deciding whether a particular toxic product should adhere to these principles; presents three case studies of similar approaches to other toxic and/or environmentally harmful products; and describes 10 possible interventions or policy actions that may help prevent, reduce, and mitigate the effects of TPW. EPR promotes total lifecycle environmental improvements, placing economic, physical, and informational responsibilities onto the tobacco industry, while PS complements EPR, but with responsibility shared by all parties involved in the tobacco product lifecycle. Both principles focus on toxic source reduction, post-consumer take-back, and final disposal of consumer products. These principles when applied to TPW have the potential to substantially decrease the environmental and public health harms of cigarette butts and other TPW throughout the world. TPW is the most commonly littered item picked up during environmental, urban, and coastal cleanups globally.
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Cigarette butts and other tobacco product wastes (TPW) are the most common items picked up in urban and beach cleanups worldwide. TPW contains all the toxins, nicotine, and carcinogens found in tobacco products, along with the plastic nonbiodegradable filter attached to almost all cigarettes sold in the United States and in most countries worldwide. Toxicity studies suggest that compounds leached from cigarette butts in salt and fresh water are toxic to aquatic micro-organisms and test fish. Toxic chemicals have also been identified in roadside TPW. With as much as two-thirds of all smoked cigarettes (numbering in the trillions globally) being discarded into the environment each year, it is critical to consider the potential toxicity and remediation of these waste products. This article reviews reports on the toxicity of TPW and recommends several policy approaches to mitigation of this ubiquitous environmental blight.
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To consider the research gaps related to the environmental impacts of electronic cigarettes due to their manufacture, use and disposal. Literature searches were conducted through December 2013. Studies were included in this review if they related to the environmental impacts of e-cigarettes. Scientific information on the environmental impacts of e-cigarette manufacturing, use and disposal is very limited. No studies formally evaluated the environmental impacts of the manufacturing process or disposal of components, including batteries. Four studies evaluated potential exposure to secondhand e-cigarette aerosol, an indication of impacts on indoor air quality. A 2010 survey of six e-cigarette models found that none of the products provided disposal instructions for spent cartridges containing nicotine. Notably, some e-cigarette manufacturers claim their e-cigarettes are 'eco-friendly' or 'green', despite the lack of any supporting data or environmental impact studies. Some authors argue that such advertising may boost sales and increase e-cigarette appeal, especially among adolescents. Little is known about the environmental impacts of e-cigarettes, and a number of topics could be further elucidated by additional investigation. These topics include potential environmental impacts related to manufacturing, use and disposal. The environmental impacts of e-cigarette manufacturing will depend upon factory size and the nicotine extracting method used. The environmental impacts of e-cigarette use will include chemical and aerosol exposure in the indoor environment. The environmental impacts of disposal of e-cigarette cartridges (which contain residual nicotine) and disposal of e-cigarettes (which contain batteries) represent yet another environmental concern.
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This article reports the results from a large-scale study of littering behavior. Findings are reported from coded observations of the littering behavior among 9,757 individuals at 130 outdoor public locations in the United States. The focus was on littering behavior of any item, but a separate sample is also reported on the littering behavior of only smokers. For smokers, the observed littering rate for cigarette butts was 65%. Results from the general littering observations showed that of all the disposal behaviors observed, 17% resulted in litter. Statistical analyses using multilevel modeling showed that age (negatively) was predictive of individual littering. At the level of the site, the presence of existing litter (positively) and the availability of trash receptacles (negatively) predicted littering. Supplemental analyses showed that among individuals who disposed of an item, distance to the receptacle was positively predictive of littering. Implications for litter prevention strategies are discussed.
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To review the literature on environmental health impacts of tobacco farming and to summarise the findings and research gaps in this field. A standard literature search was performed using multiple electronic databases for identification of peer-reviewed articles. The internet and organisational databases were also used to find other types of documents (eg, books and reports). The reference lists of identified relevant documents were reviewed to find additional sources. The selected studies documented many negative environmental impacts of tobacco production at the local level, often linking them with associated social and health problems. The common agricultural practices related to tobacco farming, especially in low-income and middle-income countries, lead to deforestation and soil degradation. Agrochemical pollution and deforestation in turn lead to ecological disruptions that cause a loss of ecosystem services, including land resources, biodiversity and food sources, which negatively impact human health. Multinational tobacco companies' policies and practices contribute to environmental problems related to tobacco leaf production. Development and implementation of interventions against the negative environmental impacts of tobacco production worldwide are necessary to protect the health of farmers, particularly in low-income and middle-income countries. Transitioning these farmers out of tobacco production is ultimately the resolution to this environmental health problem. In order to inform policy, however, further research is needed to better quantify the health impacts of tobacco farming and evaluate the potential alternative livelihoods that may be possible for tobacco farmers globally.
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Using a social norm change paradigm model that reflects the California Tobacco Control Program's (CTCP) priorities, we compare the strength of the relationship of the social norm constructs to key smoking behavioural outcomes. Social norm constructs that correspond to CTCP's priority areas were created from selected California Adult Tobacco Survey knowledge, attitude and belief questions using confirmatory factor analysis. We then examined the relationship between these constructs and quitting behaviours using logistic regression. The secondhand smoke (SHS) and countering pro-tobacco influences'(CPTI) constructs followed a dose-response curve with quitting behaviours. Respondents who rated high on the SHS construct were about 70% more likely to have made a recent quit attempt in the last 12 months and about 100% more likely to intend to quit in the next 6 months than respondents who rated low on the SHS construct. For CPTI, respondents who rated high on this construct were 67% more likely to have made a recent quit attempt in the last 12 months and 62% more likely to have intentions to quit in the next 6 months than respondents who rated low on the CPTI construct. Social norm change constructs represent CTCP's priorities and are strongly related to desired individual behaviour outcomes. This analysis provides strong support for the framework underlying CTCP--namely, that changing social norms affects behaviour change at the individual level through changing population-level smoking-related behaviours.
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Growing concern over the costs, environmental impact and safety of tobacco product litter (TPL) has prompted states and cities to undertake a variety of policy initiatives, of which litter abatement fees are part. The present work describes a framework and methodology for calculating TPL costs and abatement fees. Abatement is associated with four categories of costs: (1) mechanical and manual abatement from streets, sidewalks and public places, (2) mechanical and manual abatement from storm water and sewer treatment systems, (3) the costs associated with harm to the ecosystem and harm to industries dependent on clean and healthy ecosystems, and (4) the costs associated with direct harm to human health. The experiences of the City of San Francisco's recently proposed tobacco litter abatement fee serve as a case study. City and municipal TPL costs are incurred through manual and mechanical clean-up of surfaces and catchment areas. According to some studies, public litter abatement costs to US cities range from US$3 million to US$16 million. TPL typically comprises between 22% and 36% of all visible litter, implying that total public TPL direct abatement costs range from about US$0.5 million to US$6 million for a city the size of San Francisco. The costs of mitigating the negative externalities of TPL in a city the size of San Francisco can be offset by implementing a fee of approximately US$0.20 per pack. Tobacco litter abatement costs to cities can be substantial, even when the costs of potential environmental pollution and tourism effects are excluded. One public policy option to address tobacco litter is levying of fees on cigarettes sold. The methodology described here for calculating TPL costs and abatement fees may be useful to state and local authorities who are considering adoption of this policy initiative.
The potential for disposable electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) to be classified as hazardous waste was investigated. The Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) was performed on 23 disposable e-cigarettes in a preliminary survey of metal leaching. Based on these results, four e-cigarette products were selected for replicate analysis by TCLP and the California Waste Extraction Test (WET). Lead was measured in leachate as high as 50mg/L by WET and 40mg/L by TCLP. Regulatory thresholds were exceeded by two of 15 products tested in total. Therefore, some e-cigarettes would be toxicity characteristic (TC) hazardous waste but a majority would not. When disposed in the unused form, e-cigarettes containing nicotine juice would be commercial chemical products (CCP) and would, in the United States (US), be considered a listed hazardous waste (P075). While household waste is exempt from hazardous waste regulation, there are many instances in which such waste would be subject to regulation. Manufactures and retailers with unused or expired e-cigarettes or nicotine juice solution would be required to manage these as hazardous waste upon disposal. Current regulations and policies regarding the availability of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes worldwide were reviewed. Despite their small size, disposable e-cigarettes are consumed and discarded much more quickly than typical electronics, which may become a growing concern for waste managers. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.