Smokers need to stop littering

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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Many of us have neighbours, colleagues, friends or family members that smoke — some more than others.

Times-Herald file photo

You don’t have to go to Health Canada’s website, browse through its health concerns, locate tobacco intake and realize smoking isn’t beneficial to your health.

From our early elementary school years, most of us were told to avoid smoking because it could trigger things like lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and emphysema.

Smoking was and still is bad for the health of anyone who chooses to take up what some people perceive to be a nasty addiction.

That said, if someone wishes to smoke one cigarette, half a pack of cigarettes, or a pack of cigarettes a day then that’s their choice.

Something, however, that shouldn’t be the choice of smokers is where they choose to butt out.

Walking around Moose Jaw over the last 1014 days it has become apparent that our sidewalks, catchment areas and melting snowbanks are littered with cigarette butts.

Even if you are a smoker, this should appall you.

Although the City of Moose Jaw abides by provincial tobacco legislation, there doesn’t seem to be any clear bylaw allowing bylaw officers to fine those smokers who choose to butt out illegally.

If they were dolling out fines, there’s at least a small chance that those smokers caught littering would alter their butting out habits.

The City also deserves some of the blame for not having enough cigarette butt disposal receptacles, especially in the downtown core areas. That stated, the majority of the fault lies with smokers who just flick their butts all over the place.

They are littering and they are doing it freely.

If smokers treated city streets, sidewalks and parks like their own residences the number of cigarette butts littered throughout the Friendly City would be much less.

Smokers don’t toss their cigarette butts on the floor at home. They dispose of them in some form of bowl or ashtray.

Why can’t they show the same courtesy to the city’s streets and sidewalks?

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Organizations: Health Canada

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Friendly

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