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Smoking Hurts

Submitted by: Eileen Guo

Springtime means flowers, fresh air, a blue sky and, all in all, a chance to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. But all of that beauty is at risk because of how cigarettes are damaging our environment. Researchers estimate that 1.7 billion pounds of cigarette butts accumulate in lakes and oceans and on beaches and the rest of the planet every year. About 4.3 trillion cigarettes are littered every year and our environment is getting hurt every time a cigarette is littered.


It’s not hard to understand that the cigarette butt you flick out of your car window might be taken by an animal for food. All of the chemicals contained in cigarettes are discarded seep back into the planet one way or another. Curious babies may find cigarette butts on the floor at parks and put them in their mouths, and that’s all because of cigarettes being littered all over the world.

It would be great if cigarette material would just disappear, biodegrade, or disintegrate and not harm the environment. But that’s not possible. These leftovers hold on to the environment and will never let go. Experts say cigarette butts rank at the very top of litter problems—not just because they are EVERYWHERE, but because they are toxic and nonbiodegradable. They remain in sewers, beaches, soil, and bodies of water for years and even decades, and they eventually pollute our lakes and oceans, and of course, all the birds, fish, and mammals whose lives depend on those bodies of water. All these cigarette butts pollute oceans, beaches, and can ruin many more places if people keep smoking and littering. These cigarettes kill many ocean animals due to pollution and not being biodegradable.


About Cindy Guo

Cindy is senior at Henry M. Gunn High School and is incredibly honored to be a part of the Rising Star Magazine team. She enjoys belting out Disney songs, playing piano, watching Chinese dramas, and babysitting. Cindy serves as California DECA's VP of Silicon Valley and is also the singing teacher at FCSN and the President of HEARTS Nonprofit. She can be contacted at cindy@risingstarmagazine.com

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