CHICAGO, July 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes has long been called a "dirty habit." But aside from staining everything from lungs to teeth to walls and clothes, how dirty is it? Does it really qualify as an environmental issue?
A cigarette butt can take a full ten years to decompose, according to a recent National Geographic article. We all see them everywhere. Just glance down the next time you are at a bus stop or outside the entrance to a restaurant or shopping mall that bans smoking inside. They look ugly, and they are also doing ugly things to the Earth as they release the toxins they contain into the ground.
Parents of toddlers and dog owners must be ever vigilant; if one cigarette butt gets into the mouth of their child or dog, it could be a serious health emergency. Clearly, cigarette butts are an environmental hazard. And of course, with e-cigs there is no butt to throw on the ground.
Even the packaging cigarettes come in is a problem. While many smokers are considerate and don't throw their packages on the ground, it is way too common to see someone peel the clear plastic wrapper off of their pack of cigarettes and toss it aside as they walk along.
"Electronic cigarettes just don't involve this kind of littering potential," explained Chad Maynard, spokesperson for ElectronicCigarette.net. "Users normally carry the device in a case with no parts or wrappers to worry about. Single-use versions do exist, but for the most part, there is not a lot to wind up in the garbage or the gutter. These devices are a much cleaner option."
Butt That's Not All...
Traditional cigarettes, of course, must be lit to be smoked. Despite the increasing environmental awareness in society and more people trying to reduce, reuse and recycle, the refillable cigarette lighter seems to be mostly a thing of the past. In addition to disgusting piles of cigarette butts, used up lighters and packets of matches also contribute to the volume of litter polluting the streets.
"Obviously, with nothing to light, there are no lighters or matches," Maynard said. "No smoke either, for that matter. Just a reusable battery to charge. It really is a greener option than smoking cigarettes."
While there are some factors that may need more research about electronic cigarettes, it seems pretty clear that they just are not the threat to the environment that traditional cigarettes are.
ElectronicCigarette.net is a website featuring reviews of most e-cigarette brands. Users are encouraged to post their observations so readers can learn from each other and discuss the pros and cons of different brands.
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