Friday, May 29, 2015

More of This, Please: A High Price for Smoker's Litter

I will never get how smokers can so carelessly and thoughtlessly toss their butts away as though they are not litter.

I realize that that a smoked cigarette butt is kinda inconvenient to dispose of, but that certainly doesn't make it OK to just throw it on the ground as though it's aesthetically and environmentally no big deal.

That's why I LOVE this article from Reuters:

(Reuters) - Singapore has fined a smoker S$19,800 ($15,000) for throwing cigarette butts out of his flat window, the National Environment Agency said, the highest ever such fine. 

The man was fined S$600 per cigarette for the first 33 offences, and ordered to do community service for the 34th, all committed within four days, the agency said.

The 38-year-old smoker, who was caught on surveillance camera, will have to clean a public area for five hours wearing a bright vest bearing the words "Corrective Work Order".

Singapore, famous for its cleanliness, cracks down hard on even minor crimes like littering and vandalism, which is punishable by caning, and bans the import of chewing gum, in part to keep its public areas spotless.

 Having grown up  in a smoking household in the 1950s, it always grossed me out; I never once had the urge to ever try smoking.  I vividly recall one day in 1964 when the Surgeon General's report came out linking smoking to cancer, and my brother and I begged our mother to stop (she didn't and it led to her death some years later).

A couple weeks ago I had to search through a garbage can at my mother-in-law's place (don't ask!), in which were the contents of ashtrays from some of my smoking relatives.  I barely was able to do it without throwing up.

Believe me, I would rather clean a cat's litter box with my fingers than to touch ashtray contents.  Seriously.

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