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California Youth Advocacy Network

Tobacco and the Environment

Secondhand Smoke

Adolescents’ Support for Smoke-Free Public Settings: The Roles of Social Norms and Beliefs About Exposure to Secondhand Smoke
(Journal of Adolescent Health, 2011)

Could Secondhand Smoke Exposure Harm the Mental Health of Children? 
(Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine)

Determination of Outdoor Tobacco Smoke Exposure by Distance From a Smoking Source
(Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 2013) 

School Absenteeism Among Children Living With Smokers
(Pediatrics, 2011)

Secondhand Smoke Avoidance by Preteens Living with Smokers: To Leave or to Stay
(Addictive Behaviors, 2010) 

Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Mental Health Among Children and Adolescents
(Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2011)

Secondhand Smoke Exposure in Cars Among Middle and High School Students – United States 2000-2009
(Pediatrics, 2011)

Second-hand Smoke Exposure and Psychological Distress in Adolescents. A Population-Based Study
(Tobacco Control, 2012)

Smokefree Air Laws and Secondhand Smoke Exposure Among Nonsmoking Youth
(Pediatrics, 2009)

Smoke-Free Laws in Bars and Restaurants: Does Support Among Teens and Young Adults Change After A Statewide Smoke-Free Law
(Public Health Reports, 2011) 

Smoking Family, Secondhand Smoke Exposure at Home, and Quitting in Adolescent Smokers
(Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 2012)

Worldwide Burden of Disease from Exposure to Second-Hand Smoke: A Retrospective Analysis of Data from 192 Countries
(The Lancet, 2010)

Thirdhand Smoke

Cigarette Smoke Toxins Deposited on Surfaces: Implications for Human Health 
(PLOS ONE, 2014) 

Levels of Nicotine Dust From Homes of Smokeless Tobacco Users
(Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 2013)

Thirdhand Smoke: A New Dimension to the Effects of Cigarette Smoke on the Developing Lung
(American Journal of Physiology. Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 2011)

Thirdhand Smoke Beliefs of Parents
(Pediatrics, 2014)

Thirdhand Tobacco Smoke: A Tobacco-Specific Lung Carcinogen on Surfaces in Smokers’ Homes
(Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 2013)

Tobacco Waste Reduction

Research shows evidence that college tobacco-free policies reduce the amount of cigarette-related waste on campuses. Discarded cigarette butts are a form of non-biodegradable litter, and are a blight on streets, sidewalks, beaches, and other open areas.  An estimated 4.5 trillion cigarettes butts are generated each year worldwide. The expense of cleaning up tobacco waste can be substantial, and cities and counties may consider an abatement fee to mitigate this cost. The best solution to the cigarette butt waste problem is for smokers to quit.

Cigarette Butts and the Case for an Environmental Policy on Hazardous Cigarette Waste
(International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2009)

Cigarette butts near building entrances: what is the impact of smoke-free college campus policies? 
(Tobacco Control, 2013)

Regulating the disposal of cigarette butts as toxic hazardous waste
(Tobacco Control 2011)

Smoke-free college campuses: no ifs, ands or toxic butts
(Tobacco Control, 2011)

Tobacco litter costs and public policy: a framework and methodology for considering the use of fees to offset abatement costs
(Tobacco Control, 2011)

Tobacco Waste Toxicity

Tobacco waste presents health risk to infants and animals due to indiscriminate eating behaviors. Nicotine found in cigarette butts may cause vomiting and neurological toxicity. Both smoked and unsmoked cigarette filters are toxic to aquatic life. This toxicity could be due to a number of components in cigarettes including pesticides used in tobacco production, glues used in manufacturing, and/or the over 4,000 chemicals known to be contained in cigarettes. Twelve types of metals are known to leach into the environment from tobacco waste.

Analysis of metals leached from smoked cigarette litter
(Tobacco Control, 2011)

Butt really? The environmental impact of cigarettes
(Tobacco Control, 2011)

Tobacco and cigarette butt consumption in humans and animals
(Tobacco Control, 2011)

Toxicity of cigarette butts, and their chemical components, to marine and freshwater fish
(Tobacco Control, 2011)

Attitudes and Behaviors

The tobacco industry has backed anti-litter campaigns which have ultimately failed to change the level of tobacco related litter in the environment. The tobacco industry frames cigarette butt waste as the responsibility of the tobacco user. Public health advocates can reframe the problem not as cigarette “litter” which emphasizes that the problem is related to correct disposal, but as cigarette “waste” which refocuses attention on the producer. Smokers’ attitudes and behaviors vary. A 2012 study noted a disconnect between beliefs and behaviors: while most smokers see cigarette litter as an environmental problem, three-quarters of the smokers they surveyed littered cigarettes.

Cigarette Litter: Smokers’ Attitudes and Behaviors
(Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2012)

Covering their butts: responses to the cigarette litter problem
(Tobacco Control, 2010)

Planting trees without leaving home: tobacco company direct to consumer CSR efforts
(Tobacco Control, 2011)

Whose butt is it? tobacco industry research about smokers and cigarette butt waste.
(Tobacco Control, 2011)