Am I a litterbug?

I have wondered this for years now.
When I throw my cigarette butt out of my moving car window, can I get a ticket for littering? A friend of mine said that he got a warning for doing it a while back. I’ve done it right in front of cops before, and never had a problem. But it kind of makes sense that it would be littering, so now I’m a little more careful. Another question is, what the hell happens to the billions of butts we degenerates throw out each year?

Have you ever walked along the side of a highway? There are butts all over the place.

In other words, yes, you are a litterbug. The only reason cops don’t bug you about it is that it isn’t worth it to them to fill out a ticket.

By the way, you do extinguish them before chucking them, right? Many a wildfire was started from a cigarette thrown from a car. True, the odds are against your butt doing any harm, but it’s better to take precautions.

[Sorry if I sound a bit preachy. In my younger days I was employed sweeping up the butts in parking lots, and I often wished that smokers would take care of their own trash, rather than expecting the rest of the world to deal with it.]

In California, if your cigarette is still lit, you will likely be pulled over and given a ticket especially in dry times.

California actually changed its Vehicle Code through an initiative to make such activities explicitly illegal.

Well, I’ve never hitchiked, so I can’t say that I’ve walked along the side of a highway. I’ve seen butts piled up along curbsides and what not. But that can only account for a small percentage of the total amount. And in general, no I don’t put them out first, but most of my driving is done on paved surfaces, not forest trails.


As a smoker nothing ticks me off more. Especially when it’s dry up here - any clue how easy it is to start grass fires? And not just on grasslands, either, but lawns as well.

Is there something wrong with the ashtray in your car?

[sub]My apologies if this sounds snippy. I have the same problems with people who are unable to knock the cherries off of their smokes, step on them, and deposit the butts into trashcans.[/sub]

Well, I imagine that to start a grass fire, you would need the main ingredient, that being grass. When you live in the concrete jungle, this really doesn’t apply. I’m not disagreeing that it is inconsiderate and probably littering.
There is nothing wrong with my ashtray, it’s just more of a habit, and I would say that 75% of smokers out there do the same thing. I didn’t mean to ruffle feathers, I simply was looking for an answer to my questions.

Yes, you are a little bug. Where I live you can get a ticket for it.

It is also one of my pet peeves. Cigarette butts are dirty and gross. There is no reason that you can’t dispose of your garbage correctly. I have seen smokers two steps away from an ashtray throw their butts on the ground and walk away. Uggh!

I have nothing against people who smoke. Just don’t throw the butts on the ground.

Living in Delaware I do tend to flick my butts out the window. But to “repent” for my misdeeds I did grab a shovel, broom, and plastic bag and cleaned a few intersection medians where butts collect. Some were mine, but most were not. Looked nice when I was done, and I didn’t even do it as part of my “community service”.

Anyways, when I was visiting my brother in Clearwater, Fla I rolled down my window to flick an exhausted butt, and my brother flipped. He said down there they can, and WILL, give you a ticket.

So, short story long, depends on where you live. Shit, in NYC not only don’t the ticket you, they give you 10 bonus points if you hit a rat!! :slight_smile:

Flicked cigarettes and <BLINK> CAR EXPLOSIONS!!! </BLINK>

Yes, you are a litterbug. I was a smoker until 4 weeks ago. A pack and a half per day smoker, and after a friend chewed me out for tossing a butt out the window while we were in college, I never did it again. If you don’t want to use your ashtray, then get a soda can with a little water(or soda) left in it.

Break the habit. That simple. Make a point of not flicking them out the window and eventually you won’t even have to think about not doing it.

Oh, and DaveRaver? I thinkthis thread truly shows how people here feel about people tossing butts on the ground or out the window. :stuck_out_tongue:

How could you not know that throwing things on the street is littering?

I don’t know, AIE. What ticks me off is the people at my fraternity house (where I live) who stand on the porch smoking and bitch about how bad the yard looks, then FLICK THE BUTT INTO THE YARD!!! One of our guys last year picked up all the butts out of the yard, he stopped counting them at 500. Don’t bitch about how bad our yard looks and then flick your butt into it! Nicotine kills grass, you stupid moron!

Sorry. It really pisses me off, and I have to look at it.


Now you know it’s littering. And while you might not be flicking lit cigs out onto grass, I’ll bet that there’s at least some paper around the area. There might be kids or people walking around barefoot, too. Don’t do this any more.

Yep your a litterbug. I’m an ex-smoker who seldom to never pitched a butt. I spent a bit of time with nature and would always pocket my butts and take them out. Butts don’t go away, they just move from place to place.

I currently live by a 2 lane busy country road where concrete dwellers travel to and fro. It’s amazing the quantity and variety of garbage people pitch.

Homer, Nicotine kills bugs, not plants. Quite good in fact.

Well, still. Quit throwing your damn butts in my grass, you arseholes!

Sorry. I just wish they’d quit doing that!


Yes, you’re a litterbug. I gotta ask - what did you think a litterbug was?

The original question should have been worded differently, obviously. Sure, I’m a litterbug.
But my intent was to find out if I’m breaking the law or not. I realize the environmental ramifications of throwing them out.

How about this? You stop at a country convenience store and the fried chicken catches your eye. You get a leg and when you are finished you toss it out the window. Are you any worse than someone that hits an animal and doesn’t go back to clean it up?

The worst cigarette litterbugs are the ones that use their ashtrays and then dump them out in the road, parking lot, etc.

One big problem trying to stop littering is many of those that litter are doing it as an act of rebellion. Also most of the litter is thrown out on curves (maybe it keeps it from coming back in the window).

I didn’t know I had so much to say about litter.

I was once told by one of our local ASPCA workers that opossums enjoy the taste of tobacco (and subsequently get addicted to it). They crawl along the road looking for butts which is why they get squashed so often by passing cars. That alone would make me (if I smoked) not ever want to throw a butt out the window.

Poor little critters.

Yes you are. Use your @!#?@! ashtray; that’s what it’s for.

Sorry, but one of my neighbors (in a townhouse community) decided that near the tree in front of my house is a good place to throw his cigarette butts.