Cigarette Butts Are Harmful to Fish
By angelamontana

Posted: May 10, 2013
(photo courtesy of

If you are a smoker and you also fish, you might want to think twice the next time you flick your cigarette butt into water.  You might be killing the fish you are trying to catch!

According to an article posted on the San Diego State University (SDSU) website, a pulic health researcher from the university, Richard Gersberg, conducted a study that resulted in the finding that chemicals from just ONE filtered cigarette butt can kill fish living in a one-liter bucket of water.

The article stated that there were three types of cigarette butts used in the study:

  • smoked filtered cigarettes without tobacco
  • smoked filtered cigarettes with tobacco
  • clean un-smoked filtered cigarettes

Gersberg was quoted saying that “the most important finding in this research is that it seems to be the filter, or rather what’s in the left-over filter that is most dangerous to our water”.  In all three of the cases, approximately half of the fish were killed by a very low concentration of cigarette butts.

Apparently, after these findings, the national Cigarette But Advisory Group (CBAG) ended up recommending that cigarette butts now be identified as hazardous waste.

Tom Novtny, chair of CBAG and professor of public health at SDSU, said “Each year, billions of cigarette butts end up on our beaches, and in our oceans, lakes and rivers.  Based on this new research, we believe that cigarettes should be considered toxic waste, and new requirements need to be established for how they are disposed.”

For more information on the study, visit the SDSU website by clicking here.

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