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Tobacco Product Waste: An Environmental Approach to Reduce Tobacco Consumption

Tobacco Product Waste: An Environmental Approach to Reduce Tobacco Consumption Curr Envir Health Rpt (2014) 1:208–216 DOI 10.1007/s40572-014-0016-x GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND SUSTAINABILITY (JM SAMET, SECTION EDITOR) Tobacco Product Waste: An Environmental Approach to Reduce Tobacco Consumption Thomas E. Novotny & Elli Slaughter Published online: 6 May 2014 The Author(s) 2014. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com Abstract Cigarette butts and other tobacco product wastes [Table 1]). At a local level, data from a City of San Francisco (TPW) are the most common items picked up in urban and Street Litter Audit revealed that 24.6 % by count of all litter beach cleanups worldwide. TPW contains all the toxins, nic- items collected were from tobacco products (including butts, otine, and carcinogens found in tobacco products, along with wrappers, and packages) [2]. the plastic nonbiodegradable filter attached to almost all cig- Although it is difficult to estimate what percentage of the arettes sold in the United States and in most countries world- trillions of cigarettes consumed globally each year are wide. Toxicity studies suggest that compounds leached from discarded as waste, bans on indoor smoking may have exac- cigarette butts in salt and fresh water are toxic to aquatic erbated the accumulation of TPW outdoors. Residents, busi- micro-organisms and test fish. Toxic chemicals have also been ness owners, and politicians have reported an increase in the identified in roadside TPW. With as much as two-thirds of all quantity of cigarette butts littered after bans on indoor smoked cigarettes (numbering in the trillions globally) being smoking took effect in local areas [3–5]. In the United discarded into the environment each year, it is critical to Kingdom, a report by the advocacy group Keep Britain Tidy consider the potential toxicity and remediation of these waste [6], estimated a 43 % increase in the number of littered products. This article reviews reports on the toxicity of TPW cigarettes attributable to a ban on indoor smoking. Keep and recommends several policy approaches to mitigation of Britain Tidy is supported by the tobacco industry, which in this ubiquitous environmental blight. the past has used these data as an argument to undermine clean indoor air laws [7]. One community (Tacoma, Washington, . . Keywords Tobacco product waste Cigarette filters USA) [8] conducted a litter study in 2010 and estimated that 1 in 3 smoked cigarettes are discarded into the environment. Extended producer responsibility Tobacco consumption The American Legacy Foundation surveyed a national sample of 1000 smokers and found that most (74.1 %) admitted Introduction disposing of butts on the ground or out of a car window at least once in their lives [9]. Recent observational studies of Cigarette butts and other tobacco product waste (TPW) items smokers document that a majority (76.7 %; 95 % CI 70.8– are the most ubiquitous form of litter worldwide, with an 82.0 %) of 219 subjects littered their cigarette butts; this estimated 4.5 trillion of the estimated annual 6 trillion globally behavior appears to be the norm among smokers in urban consumed cigarettes deposited as butts somewhere into the settings, even in the presence of appropriate waste receptacles [10]. environment each year [1]. This material comprises the largest percentage of waste (approximately 19 %–38 % of total waste Given that the weight of 20 cigarette filters is 0.12 ounces (3.4 gm) [11], the estimated discarded waste from U.S. ciga- products by count) collected globally during the coastal cleanups each year (See Ocean Conservancy Data for 2012, rette consumption in 2011 alone (292.8 billion) [12] would weigh about 49.8 million kg; this estimate does not include the weight of remnant tobacco, discarded packages, T. E. Novotny (*) E. Slaughter lighters, matches, and other tobacco products such as cigars, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, 5500 e-cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco. The casual disposal of Campanile Drive, Hardy Tower 119, San Diego, CA 92182, USA TPW is a normative part of smoking and creates a potentially e-mail: tnovotny@mail.sdsu.edu Curr Envir Health Rpt (2014) 1:208–216 209 Table 1 Top10marinedebris Rank Debris item Number of debris items Percentage of total debris items items collected, international coastal cleanup 1 Cigarettes/cigarette filters 2,117,931 19 % 2 Food wrappers/containers 1,140,222 10 % 3 Beverage bottles (plastic) 1,065,171 10 % 4 Bags (plastic) 1,019,902 9 % 5 Caps, lids 958,893 9 % 6 Cups, plates, forks, knives, spoons 692,767 6 % 7 Straws, stirrers 611,048 6 % 8 Beverage bottles (glass) 521,730 5 % 9 Beverage cans 339,875 3 % Source: Ocean Conservancy, 10 Bags (paper) 298,332 3 % 2012: http://www. oceanconservancy.org/our-work/ Top 10 total debris items collected 8,765,871 80 % international-coastal-cleanup/top- Total debris items collected worldwide 10,957,338 100 % 10-items-found-1.html. toxic environmental burden and potentially a risk to human fungicides, and rodenticides that are used in the agricultural health through environmental contamination (Fig. 1). TPW is production of tobacco products [15]. In fact, many of the washed by the rain or by street cleaning from urban sidewalks chemicals found in tobacco products are included in the and streets into the storm drains and then into the larger Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory aquatic environment [13]. This review will evaluate the po- (TRI) Program [16]. Chemicals covered by the TRI are those tential for environmental toxicity due to chemicals leached out that cause 1 or more of the following: cancer or other chronic of the main TPW element (cigarette butts); we will propose human health effects, significant adverse acute human health policy options for mitigating TPW. effects, or significant adverse environmental effects. Tobacco contains nicotine (which is a chemical also used in plant pesticides), polyaromatic hydrocarbons, various carcinogenic Potential Toxicity of Tobacco Product Waste nitrosamines, ammonia, acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, phenol, pyridines, acetone, and heavy metals, among other toxicants TPW is unlikely to be thought of as a toxic waste product by [17�� , 18� ]. We will next review the evidence that these smokers, nonsmokers, manufacturers, or communities. chemicals may adversely impact the environment. Further, it has not yet been considered as such by state or Agricultural chemicals have been found to be present in local environmental protection agencies. Nonetheless, the nu- cigarette smoke. For example, Dane et al. [19] found3previ- merous chemicals found in cigarette tobacco and generated ously undetected pesticides (flumetralin, pendimethalin, and trifluralin) in both mainstream and side stream cigarette when the tobacco burns [14� ] are likely to be harmful to the environment, including pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, smoke. Cigarette filters are theoretically designed to absorb Fig. 1 Possible pathways for human health risks due to TPW 210 Curr Envir Health Rpt (2014) 1:208–216 various constituents of cigarette smoke, including gaseous the material deposited on a filter when the smoke is passed emissions and particulates, and, thus, if harmful chemicals in through, is used as a catch-all term for the particulate compo- tobacco leaf are transferred to cigarette smoke, they could also nents of cigarette smoke, except for alkaloid compounds such be retained by cigarette filters and tobacco remnants in as nicotine [36]. Tar is comprised of organic and inorganic discarded butts. Pesticides are manufactured to effectively kill compounds, many of which are carcinogenic [35]. The target organisms at relatively low doses. If these chemicals discarded cigarette filter may retain many of these potential leach from discarded cigarette filters, they could potentially be carcinogens that may be leached into the environment and toxic in various environments and could bio-accumulate in the transferred to aquatic organisms, some in the human food chain. human food chain. Few studies have addressed the toxic effects of TPW on Ethyl phenol is used in the tobacco industry as a flavoring living things, but aquatic ecosystems, such as shorelines and agent and is present in cigarette smoke [20]. It bioconcentrates waterways, may be the most vulnerable settings, as the ma- in aquatic organisms [21]. Thompson et al. [22]identified a jority of land-based litter is ultimately deposited into these relatively high Lethal Concentration (LC) 50 (the concentra- environments [17�� ]. tion at which there is 50 % lethality in a bioassay) for ethyl phenol at 150 mg/L. Although the concentration of ethyl Evidence on Environmental Toxicity Due to Tobacco Product phenol in mainstream smoke of a single cigarette is less than Waste the LC50, it may still represent a potential toxicant in TPW. This toxicity might occur because cellulose acetate, the major Several studies have shown chemicals that leach from ciga- component of cigarette filters, has been shown to effectively rette butts can be acutely toxic to aquatic organisms [11, 37, remove phenols from cigarette smoke [23–26]. Consequently, 38]. Moriwaki et al. [39] found that arsenic, nicotine, PAHs, ethyl phenol may be present in the discarded cigarette filter at and heavy metals such as cadmium and lead are released into much higher concentrations than in cigarette smoke and may the environment as part of roadside TPW. In this study, leach into the environment. roadside waste was collected in a Japanese suburb prospec- Approximately 0.6 % to 3.0 % of the dry weight of tobacco tively over a 4-month period. The distribution, quantity, and is nicotine, which has been used as a plant pesticide since the types of waste were studied, as well as the environmental 15th Century [27]. It became a popular pesticide in the United loading of PAHs and other pollutants over time from this States in the 1940s and 50s [28], but nicotine-based pesticides waste. Environmental contamination by heavy metals, such have not been sold in the United States since 2008 [29]. as lead, copper, chromium, and cadmium, as well as by PAHs Nicotine is known to be acutely toxic to animals and humans (Table 2) from cigarette butt waste, was confirmed. [30, 31]. An average cigarette yields approximately 1–2.3 mg Moerman and Potts determined the concentration of Al, of nicotine [32, 33] and, in this low concentration, nicotine Ba, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sr, Ti, and Zn from cigarette acts as a stimulant; it is the main chemical responsible for butts in aqueous solution, including assessment of pH effects tobacco dependence. Of note is that the nicotine content in and soaking time on metal concentration leached [18� ]. All cigarettes increased 1.6 % between 1998 and 2005 [34]. metals were detected in leachates 24 hours after cigarette butt Additives are reported to constitute 10 % of the weight of addition, with the exception of Cd, and were released at the tobacco in a cigarette and 4 % of the total weight of the varying rates. This research suggests that cigarette butts are cigarette [11]. Additives (such as menthol) make cigarette potential sources of heavy metal environmental contamination smoke more palatable and appealing to the consumer, espe- and have the potential to cause acute and chronic harm to cially those who are initially experimenting with smoking. various organisms. Humectants, for example, increase shelf life, and along with Register [11] followed the USEPA’s 1996 “Aquatic sugars, aid in the dissolution of nicotine, making smoke Invertebrate Acute Toxicity Test, Freshwater Daphnids” pro- milder and easier to inhale. Diethylene glycol, commonly tocol in performing toxicity bioassays of cigarette butts. used as automotive antifreeze, was added to cigarette tobacco Cigarette butt leachate was prepared by allowing cigarette as a humectant in the 1930s [15] and removed as a result of butts to soak in deionized water for 1 hour. This study found public advocacy in the 1980s. This sequence of events, how- that leachates from smoked cigarette tobacco, smoked ciga- ever, contradicts the usual expectation for consumer products rette filters, and unsmoked cigarette filters were acutely toxic such that safety is established for their content before a prod- to the freshwater cladoceran Daphnia magna at 0.125 and uct is used. (Interestingly, history is repeating itself now with 0.25, 1, and 2, and greater than 16 cigarette butts/L (LC50), the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes, which produce sev- respectively. This test took place over a 48-hour period, and eral vaporized chemicals, have no regulatory oversight, and survival was the single endpoint. contain varying amounts of nicotine.) Warne et al. [38] prepared cigarette butt leachate by placing Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture of gases and cigarette butts in water and shaking for 1 hour. The LC50 of submicron-size particulate matter [35]. Cigarette tar, technically leachates from smoked cigarette butts, smoked cigarette Curr Envir Health Rpt (2014) 1:208–216 211 Table 2 Polyaromatic hydrocar- PAHs Concentration (mg/kg wet) Load potential (mg/km/month) bons (PAHs) in roadside cigarette butt waste and roadside soil, Japan, Cigarette butts Roadside soil Fluorene 0.028 0.01 0.0023 Phenanthrene 0.078 0.14 0.0063 Values of load potential were calculated using the quantity of Anthracene 0.071 0.0058 0.00057 cigarette butts per month, con- Pyrene 0.091 0.36 0.0074 centration of PAHs, and length of Benzo(a)anthracene 0.026 0.084 0.0021 sampling environment (3.2 km). Chrysene 0.044 0.11 0.0035 Reprinted with permission from Benzo(b)fluoranthene 0.031 0.088 0.0025 Waste Management. Vol 29(3). Moriwaki H, Kitajima S, Katahira Benzo(k)fluoranthene 0.015 0.055 0.0012 K. Waste on the roadside, ‘poi- Benzo(a)pyrene 0.031 0.12 0.0025 sute’ waste: its distribution and Dibenzo(a,h)anthracene 0.0065 0.016 0.00053 elution potential of pollutants into environment. p. 1192–7. Copy- Benzo(g,h,i)perylene 0.031 0.093 0.0025 right 2009, with permission from Total 0.39 1.1 0.032 Elsevier. [39]. filters, and unsmoked cigarette tobacco were reported for the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). Leachate from freshwater cladoceran Ceriodaphnia dubia at 0.05, 0.15, and smoked cigarette filters without tobacco remnants was less 1.7 cigarette butts/L, respectively. This test took place over a toxic than that from smoked cigarettes with tobacco remnants, 48-hour period and the sub-lethal effect, immobilization, was with LC50 values of 4.1 and 5.5 cigarette butts/L, respectively the single end point. In addition, LC50 for the marine bacte- for both fish species. Unsmoked cigarette filters (without any rium Vibrio fischeri by smoked cigarette butts, smoked ciga- tobacco remnants) were also found to be toxic, with LC50 rette filters, and unsmoked cigarette tobacco was 0.6, 1.25, values of 5.1 and 13.5 cigarette butts/L, respectively for both and greater than 970 cigarette butts/L, respectively. This study fish species. Toxicity was found to be highest for smoked of V. fischeri took place over a 30-minute period and the sub- cigarettes with remnant tobacco, but also for only the smoked lethal effect, bioluminescence, was the single endpoint. filter (without tobacco) and to a lesser extent for the unsmoked Micevska et al. [37] followed USEPA [40] protocols filter. to perform daphnid bioassays and New South Wales In summary, cigarettes and their waste, deposited as Environmental Protection Agency [41] protocols for bacteri- discarded filters with remnant tobacco, contain many um bioassays. Smoked cigarette butt leachates from 19 differ- chemicals that may be harmful to the environment. These ent brands of smoked cigarette butts were found to be toxic to chemicals are sourced from agricultural treatments of tobacco Ceriodaphnia dubia at concentrations between 8.9 and plants, uptake from contaminated soils, additives instilled in 25.9 mg butts/L (48-hour EC50 (immobilization) and to the manufacturing process, the attached cellulose acetate filter, Vibrio fischeri at concentrations between 104 and 832 mg and combustion products generated in the course of smoking butts/L (30-minute EC50 [bioluminescence]). This study also cigarettes. Limited studies of toxicity from these products to completed a Toxicity Identification Evaluation (TIE) phase I aquatic organisms have been reported, but given the total and preliminary phase II tests using USEPA [40, 42, 43] global burden of TPW, additional research is needed to ex- protocols. These evaluations identified nicotine and ethyl plore the actual risks that this toxic waste has on freshwater phenol as the most likely causative toxicants in cigarette butt and marine environments, the fate of such chemicals in aquat- leachate. However, the concentrations of these chemicals in ic environments, as well as their potential for bioaccumulation the leachates were not measured. and human health effects. Using the USEPA standard acute fish bioassay, Slaughter et al. [17�� ] analyzed cigarette butt-derived leachates for aquatic toxicity to saltwater and fresh water test fish. The Filter Farce Survival was the single endpoint, and data were analyzed to identify the LC50 of machine-smoked cigarette butt leachates The discarded cigarette butt consists of unsmoked remnant in the laboratory environment. The LC50 for leachate from tobacco, the paper wrap remnants, and the filter (99 % of smoked cigarette butts (with remnant tobacco intact) was cigarettes sold in the United States are filtered). Each of these approximately 1.1 cigarette butts/L for both the marine components presents an individual environmental concern. In Pacific topsmelt (Atherinops affinis) and the freshwater fact, as discussed above, the cigarette filter may compound the 212 Curr Envir Health Rpt (2014) 1:208–216 potential environmental effect of chemicals leached from butts Conclusions and Recommendations because it is essentially a nonbiodegradable plastic collection of cellulose acetate fibers. Most filters have 2 layers of TPW is ubiquitous, environmentally hazardous, and signifi- paper and/or rayon wrapping, the porosity of which acts cant community nuisance. Although anti-littering laws exist to control the amount of airflow (ventilation) through that may apply to TPW in many jurisdictions, most enforce- the filter. Cigarettes also contain glues to hold the paper ment is directed at large littering problems such as illegal and filter together and alkali metal salts of organic acids dumping. Enforcement of such laws directed toward individ- (eg, sodium acetate) to maintain burning [44]. Although ual smokers’ TPW littering is impractical and has been clearly exposure to UV rays may eventually cause the filter to ineffective in preventing the accumulation of TPW. Research deteriorate into small pieces, the plastic particles and on both the extent and nature of the TPW problem, the their toxicants may never disappear from water or soil potential chemical impact on the environment, wildlife, and and may continue leaching chemicals for up to 10 years humans, the defectiveness of filtered cigarettes, and the tobac- [45, 46]. co industry’s efforts in avoiding responsibility for TPW envi- Cigarette manufacturers have promoted light and low-tar ronmental contamination is needed. The findings would cigarettes that imply a health claim for these filtered (or strengthen the evidence base for taking action on this global ‘safer’) cigarettes. However, smokers who switched to environmental problem. low-yield, filtered brands in the 1950s and 1960s did TPW mitigation requires novel environmental interven- not benefit from reduced exposures to tar and nicotine tions and new partnerships between tobacco control and en- because of changes in their puffing behavior (known as vironmental groups. Many of these interventions would ‘compensatory smoking,’) and design changes in manufactured serve to reduce the social acceptability of smoking while cigarettes [47]. In the early 2000s, tobacco control researchers reducing the environmental burden of TPW. Based on this reported on how filter ventilation represents a dangerous, de- review of the TPW problem, the following policy approaches fective technology that could be regulated out of the cigarette are suggested: market [48, 49]. The National Cancer Institute’s comprehensive review 1. Increase public awareness about the toxicity and other of light and low-tar cigarettes [50] concluded that environmental impacts of TPW “Epidemiological and other scientific evidence, including pat- Environmental advocacy joined with tobacco con- terns of mortality from smoking-caused diseases, does not trol advocacy can be an effective approach to the TPW indicate a benefit to public health from changes in cigarette issues. In fact, the tobacco industry has ‘feared’ such an design and manufacturing over the last 50 years.” Under alliance among these different camps, and has sought to the 2009 U.S. Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco invest in environmental advocacy that emphasizes TPW Control Act [51] tobacco companies are now prohibited cleanups, hand-held ashtrays, butt receptacle installations, in the United States from the advertising or labeling of and other downstream approaches [13]. Mobilizing public tobacco products with the descriptors “light,”“mild,” or opinion on exposure to second hand smoke has resulted in “low”. These terms have misled smokers about implied myriad local and state regulations to prevent this environ- benefits of filtered cigarettes since their market entry, mental health hazard (See: http://www.no-smoke.org/ and, thus, claims about filters that reduce yield of tar goingsmokefree.php?id=519). Thus, similar advocacy, have been found to be misleading and fraudulent [52]. with mobilization of environmental groups, will be The large scale uptake of filtered cigarettes may have necessary to implement effective policies to prevent and been associated with a reported histologic shift in predom- mitigate the environmental burden of TPW. inant lung cancer type from squamous cell to adenocarcinoma 2. Apply the Extended Producer Responsibility Principle to [53, 54]. TPW Smokers may be discouraged from quitting as many EPR requires total life cycle environmental improve- still believe that filtered cigarettes protect their health, ments, placing liability, economic/financial, physical, and and young people may find it easier to inhale their first informational responsibilities onto the manufacturers of puff with filtered cigarettes. Because of these issues, the waste product [55]. Product stewardship (PS) overlaps filters may be considered as defective products in terms principles of EPR but extends responsibility to all parties of protecting smokers’ health. Because of their relative involved in the life cycle of the product. In the case of nonbiodegradability and the preliminary research indicating TPW, this would include sellers, distributors, and perhaps the toxicity of TPW to a variety of aquatic organisms, the filter even facilitators such as bars and restaurants that allow tip as product source of environmental contamination may be outdoor smoking on their premises. A key focus of both a target for product alteration under the principle of Extended EPR and PS involves postconsumer take-back and final Producer Responsibility (EPR see Section 2, below). disposal. This could involve a deposit-return scheme or Curr Envir Health Rpt (2014) 1:208–216 213 simply require manufacturers to take back all discarded and commercial entities, including those funded by the TPW. EPR has been emphasized in Europe since the early tobacco industry [60, 61]. 1990’s, and it was incorporated into official European 6. Cost Recovery Union environmental policy in 2002. However, EPR Tobacco litter abatement costs to cities are substantial, regulations have not yet been considered at the even when the costs of potential environmental toxicity Federal level in the United States [56]. Nevertheless, as and potential effects on tourism are excluded [62]. One of October 2010, 32 US States have enacted EPR laws solution to reducing toxic waste from computers, that mandate costs of recycling or safe disposal of con- telephones, and televisions is a consumer-funded sumer products to be covered by the manufacturers of Advanced Recycling Fee (ARF); this is assessed at these products; these products include batteries, carpets, the time of purchase for these products and it is cell phones, other electronics, fluorescent lighting, meant to pay for the costs of recycling and disposing mercury-containing thermostats, paint, and pesticide properly of any non-recyclable material; California containers [57]. and Maine have implemented such fees on electronics 3. Apply the ‘Precautionary Principle’ to TPW [63]. This principle implies that it is not necessary to have Total public litter abatement costs to a city range from identified each and every TPW toxic chemical and its $3 to $16 million [62]. TPW comprises 23 %–36 % of all potential health effects before regulating TPW and is a visible litter, and, thus, the costs borne by the public for hallmark of environmental health policy in the United TPW range from $1 to $5 million for a typical city. The States and elsewhere. Such policies re-focus the concern costs of mitigating this externality of TPW in a mid-sized on TPW “upstream” from the consumer, community, and metropolitan area (such as has been implemented in San environment to the manufacturers and distributors of to- Francisco) can be offset by a fee of approximately bacco products. $0.20–$0.40 per pack. These fees would then increase 4. Label Cigarette Packages the cost of cigarettes, thereby reducing consumption. With evidence for the effectiveness of cigarette pack- 7. Litigation age warning labels [58], additional package labels and Litigation brought by States against the tobacco indus- public information about the toxicity of discarded butts try has focused mainly on recovering the State-funded may be considered. These would include specific instruc- health care costs attributable to smoking. As for environ- tions for the safe disposal of the toxic waste product and mental costs, the tobacco industry could be held respon- brief information about why this disposal is important. sible for cleanup and nuisance costs associated with to- These labels would contribute to public information about bacco products. EPR may then be invoked to address TPW toxicity. tobacco industry responsibility. Under this principle, liti- 5. Deposit/return Schemes gation has been pursued against manufacturers of several As for deposit schemes, Oregon and several other U.S. other products that have damaged the environment states have implemented deposit-return schemes on glass through class action lawsuits. These suits are typically and metal beverage containers as a way to reduce the based on 2 legal theories: negligence and nuisance. The environmental burden of discarded beverage containers. primary basis for a negligence case would be proof of the These laws impose a consumer-paid monetary deposit on defendant’s wrongful conduct in failing to prevent envi- specified items that is reimbursed when the item is ronmental damages from normal usage of their products returned. The Oregon law reduced litter and increased (again, invoking the ‘precautionary principle’)[13]. recycling, with return rates of up to 90 % and reduction Nuisance-based lawsuits may invoke the “right of quiet of roadside beverage container litter from 40 % to <6 % of enjoyment” that is disrupted such that a tort is being total litter [59]. Similarly, cigarettes could be sold with a committed. Litigation against the tobacco industry by “butt deposit” to be refunded when the butts are returned State or local entities may be considered as a means to to the vender or perhaps to a hazardous waste disposal recover environmental cleanup and nuisance costs. facility. This could encourage smokers to behave more 8. Product Changes responsibly and could provide income to butt retrievers. It Some hazardous products have been banned entirely would also increase the costs of smoking, thus having a by State and local authorities through restrictions on sales beneficial effect on cigarette consumption. Further, ven- and distribution. These include pop-tops on aluminum dor reluctance to accept returned butts (due to aesthetic, cans, plastic tampon applicators, and non-fire-safe chil- logistical, or storage problems) might reduce the number dren’s clothing [13]. Thus, States could consider banning of outlets selling cigarettes. Recycling schemes for TPW the sale of filtered cigarettes if these were to be considered have been proposed by a variety of environmental groups an environmental hazard and nuisance burden. (In 214 Curr Envir Health Rpt (2014) 1:208–216 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative fact, a bill has been submitted in 2014 to the California Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and Legislature to ban the sale of single-use filtered cigarettes reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the for environmental reasons [64].) source are credited. There may in fact be significant positive behavioral and health impacts if the sale of filtered cigarettes were prohibited because such prohibition may reduce con- References sumption of cigarettes in general or smoking initiation among children by making the cigarette less palatable. Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been Filters are a marketing tool and not a health device, and, highlighted as: thus, banning them on environmental grounds may make � Of importance sense, both as an environmental intervention and as a �� Of major importance public health intervention. The issue of whether there is a safe cigarette for con- 1. Litter Free Planet. Exposing the butts. 2009. http://www. sumers has been laid to rest, and the environmental bur- litterfreeplanet.com/id6.html. Accessed May 2011. den of TPW will benefit from the absence of the defective 2. Schneider JE, Decker CS, Doyle A, et al. Estimates of the costs of tobacco litter in San Francisco and Calculations of maximum cellulose acetate filter. However, one may wonder wheth- permissible per-pack fees. Morristown: Health Economics er the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Consulting Group; 2009. Act signed into law in 2009 would preempt State or local 3. Andrews K. Get your butts off the street says Ó Neachtain. Galway actions to ban the sale of filtered cigarettes. This legisla- Advertiser. April 15, 2004. http://archive.advertiser.ie/pages/home.php. Accessed May 2011. tion in fact preserves the rights of states to raise tobacco 4. KHBS. March 15, 2004. Fayetteville battles cigarette litter. http:// tax rates, implement and enforce comprehensive smoke- www.4029tv.com/news/2922574/detail.html. free laws, adequately fund strong state tobacco prevention 5. Niolet B. 2010. Smoking ban sends butts to the sidewalk. http:// programs, enhance access to smoking cessation, and take www.newsobserver.com/2010/05/28/505485/smoking-ban-sends- butts-to-the.html. Accessed May 2011. any actions to restrict the sale and distribution of tobacco 6. Keep Britain Tidy. Rise in cigarette litter. September 14, 2007. products [65]. Thus, banning the sales of filtered ciga- http://www.keepbritaintidy.org/News/NewsArchive/Default.aspx? rettes may be considered by States as a means of signif- newsID=212. Accessed May 2011. icantly reducing the TPW environmental and economic 7. Smith EA, McDaniel PA. Covering their butts: responses to the cigarette litter problem. Tob Control. 2011;20:100–6. burden at the State or local level. 8. City of Tacoma. Can it: keep your butts out of the bay. 2010. http:// www.cityoftacoma.org/Page.aspx?nid=695. Accessed 15 Jan 2014. 9. Rath JM, Rubenstein RA, Curry LE, Shank SE, Cartwright Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank Dr. Eunha Hoh for JC. Cigarette litter: smokers’ attitudes and behaviors. Int J creating Fig. 1. This work was supported by funding from the University Environ Res Public Health. 2012;9:2189–203. doi:10.3390/ of California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program, which was ijerph9062189. received by San Diego State University, and also for the Cigarette Butt 10. Patel V, Thomson GW, Wilson N. Cigarette butt littering in city Pollution Project (501c3). streets: a new methodology for studying and results. Tob Control. 2013;22:59–62. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050529. Compliance with Ethics Guidelines 11. Register K. Cigarette butts as litter-toxic as well as ugly? Bull Am Littoral Soc. 2000;25:23–9. Conflict of Interest Thomas E. Novotny has received speaker fees (for 12. Tynan MA, McAfee T, Promoff G, Pechacek T. Consumption of travel primarily) from the San Jose Department of Environment. He has cigarettes and combustible tobacco—United States, 2000–2011. received support for travel to meetings for the study or otherwise from the MMWR. 2012;61:565–9. American Legacy Foundation, and from TEDx SantAntoni for the TED 13. Novotny TE, Lum K, Smith E, Wang V, Barnes R. talk in Ibiza, Spain. He has been a consultant for the World Health Cigarettes butts and the case for an environmental policy on Organization (TOBREG background paper [unpublished]). He received hazardous cigarette waste. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2009;6: payment for development of educational presentations including service 1691–705. on speakers’ bureaus from the California Tobacco Control Program, 14.� U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The health con- California Department of Public Health for a toolkit development on butt sequences of smoking—50 years of progress: a report of the waste. He received travel/accommodations expenses covered or reim- Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human bursed from the California Department of Public Health for the Butt Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Waste Summit Sacramento and meeting travel, and from the American Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Legacy Foundation for travel for webinar and site visit. He is the Founder Office on Smoking and Health; 2014. This document updates the and CEO of the Cigarette Butt Pollution Project, a 501c3 charity registered chemistry of tobacco products and clearly makes the case that there in California. Elli Slaughter declares that she has no conflict of interest. is no benefit from product designs, such as the cellulose acetate filter found on nearly all filtered cigarettes sold, in terms of reduc- Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent This article does ing the risks of smoking. not contain any original studies with human or animal subjects performed 15. Glantz SA, Slade J, Bero LA, et al. 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Harm reduction ap- New York: Academic Press; 1967. p. 577–622. proaches to reducing tobacco-related mortality. Annu Rev Public 25. Hoffmann D, Wynder EL. Filtration of phenols from cigarette Health. 2004;25:1–19. smoke. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1963;30:67–84. 48. Kozlowski L, O’Conner R. Cigarette filter ventilation is a defective 26. Spears AW. Selective filtration of volatile phenolic compounds design because of misleading taste, bigger puffs, and blocked vents. from cigarette smoke. Tob Sci. 1963;7:76–80. Tob Control. 2002;11:i40e50. 27. Hoffmann D, Hoffmann I. Cigars: health effects and trends. In: 49. Kozlowski LT, O’Connor RJ, Cummings KM. Maximum yields Smoking and tobacco control monograph no. 9. National Cancer might improve public health—if filter vents were banned: a lesson Institute. NIH Pub. No. 98–4302, 1998. p. 55–104. from the history of vented filters. Tob Control. 2006;15:262–4. 28. Rodgman A, Perfetti TA. The chemical components of tobacco and 50. US National Cancer Institute. Tobacco Control Monograph No. 13. tobacco smoke. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2008. Bethesda, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, 29. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Reregistration Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Eligibility Decision for Nicotine. List B, Case No. 2460; 2008. Cancer Institute, 2001:13. Accessed 31 Jan 2014. 30. Novotny TE, Hardin SN, Hovda LR, Novotny DJ, McLean MK, 51. United States Food and Drug Administration. Overview of the Khan S. Tobacco and cigarette butt consumption in humans and Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. http://www. animals. Tob Control. 2011;20:i17–20. doi:10.1136/tc.2011.043489. fda.gov/tobaccoproducts/guidancecomplianceregulatoryinformation/ 31. Karaconji B. Facts about nicotine toxicity. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol. ucm246129.htm. Accessed 31 Jan 2014. 2005;56:363–71. 52. Guardino S, Banthin C, Daynard R. USAv Philip Morris USA, Inc, 32. 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Cigarette smoke components and disease: cigarette 55. Barnes RL. Regulating the disposal of cigarette butts as toxic smoke is more than a triad of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide. hazardous waste. Tob Control. 2011;20 Suppl 1:i42–5. doi:10. Smoking and tobacco control monograph no. 7. NIH Pub. No. 96– 1136/tc.2010.041301. 4028; 1996. p. 59–75. 56. Sachs N. Planning the funeral at the birth: extended producer 36. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Low yield cigarettes responsibility in the European Union and the United States. Harv and cigarette-like products 2010. http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/ Environ Law Rev. 2006;30:51e98. 216 Curr Envir Health Rpt (2014) 1:208–216 57. Product Stewardship Institute. Extended Product Responsibility with-big-tobacco/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0. Accessed 31 Jan State Laws as of October 2010. http://www.productstewardship. 2014. us/displaycommon.cfm?an¼1&subarticlenbr¼280.AccessedOct 62. 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Bill No. 1504, Introduced by Assembly Member Stone. 60. WIPO IP Service. Process and Method for Recycling Cigarette January 14, 2014. http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/ Butts. Pub. No.: WO/2007/035749 International Application No.: billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB1504. Accessed 31 PCT/US2006/036511, Publication Date: Mar 29, 2007 Jan 2014. International Filing Date: Sep 19, 2006. 65. American Lung Association. FDA Authority Over Tobacco Products. 61. Szaky T. Cutting a Deal With Big Tobacco. New York Times, April 30, http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/tobacco-control-advocacy/ 2012. http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/30/cutting-our-first-deal- federal/fda-authority-over-tobacco.html. Accessed 31 Jan 2014. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Current Environmental Health Reports Pubmed Central

Tobacco Product Waste: An Environmental Approach to Reduce Tobacco Consumption

Current Environmental Health Reports , Volume 1 (3) – May 6, 2014

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Curr Envir Health Rpt (2014) 1:208–216 DOI 10.1007/s40572-014-0016-x GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND SUSTAINABILITY (JM SAMET, SECTION EDITOR) Tobacco Product Waste: An Environmental Approach to Reduce Tobacco Consumption Thomas E. Novotny & Elli Slaughter Published online: 6 May 2014 The Author(s) 2014. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com Abstract Cigarette butts and other tobacco product wastes [Table 1]). At a local level, data from a City of San Francisco (TPW) are the most common items picked up in urban and Street Litter Audit revealed that 24.6 % by count of all litter beach cleanups worldwide. TPW contains all the toxins, nic- items collected were from tobacco products (including butts, otine, and carcinogens found in tobacco products, along with wrappers, and packages) [2]. the plastic nonbiodegradable filter attached to almost all cig- Although it is difficult to estimate what percentage of the arettes sold in the United States and in most countries world- trillions of cigarettes consumed globally each year are wide. Toxicity studies suggest that compounds leached from discarded as waste, bans on indoor smoking may have exac- cigarette butts in salt and fresh water are toxic to aquatic erbated the accumulation of TPW outdoors. Residents, busi- micro-organisms and test fish. Toxic chemicals have also been ness owners, and politicians have reported an increase in the identified in roadside TPW. With as much as two-thirds of all quantity of cigarette butts littered after bans on indoor smoked cigarettes (numbering in the trillions globally) being smoking took effect in local areas [3–5]. In the United discarded into the environment each year, it is critical to Kingdom, a report by the advocacy group Keep Britain Tidy consider the potential toxicity and remediation of these waste [6], estimated a 43 % increase in the number of littered products. This article reviews reports on the toxicity of TPW cigarettes attributable to a ban on indoor smoking. Keep and recommends several policy approaches to mitigation of Britain Tidy is supported by the tobacco industry, which in this ubiquitous environmental blight. the past has used these data as an argument to undermine clean indoor air laws [7]. One community (Tacoma, Washington, . . Keywords Tobacco product waste Cigarette filters USA) [8] conducted a litter study in 2010 and estimated that 1 in 3 smoked cigarettes are discarded into the environment. Extended producer responsibility Tobacco consumption The American Legacy Foundation surveyed a national sample of 1000 smokers and found that most (74.1 %) admitted Introduction disposing of butts on the ground or out of a car window at least once in their lives [9]. Recent observational studies of Cigarette butts and other tobacco product waste (TPW) items smokers document that a majority (76.7 %; 95 % CI 70.8– are the most ubiquitous form of litter worldwide, with an 82.0 %) of 219 subjects littered their cigarette butts; this estimated 4.5 trillion of the estimated annual 6 trillion globally behavior appears to be the norm among smokers in urban consumed cigarettes deposited as butts somewhere into the settings, even in the presence of appropriate waste receptacles [10]. environment each year [1]. This material comprises the largest percentage of waste (approximately 19 %–38 % of total waste Given that the weight of 20 cigarette filters is 0.12 ounces (3.4 gm) [11], the estimated discarded waste from U.S. ciga- products by count) collected globally during the coastal cleanups each year (See Ocean Conservancy Data for 2012, rette consumption in 2011 alone (292.8 billion) [12] would weigh about 49.8 million kg; this estimate does not include the weight of remnant tobacco, discarded packages, T. E. Novotny (*) E. Slaughter lighters, matches, and other tobacco products such as cigars, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, 5500 e-cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco. The casual disposal of Campanile Drive, Hardy Tower 119, San Diego, CA 92182, USA TPW is a normative part of smoking and creates a potentially e-mail: tnovotny@mail.sdsu.edu Curr Envir Health Rpt (2014) 1:208–216 209 Table 1 Top10marinedebris Rank Debris item Number of debris items Percentage of total debris items items collected, international coastal cleanup 1 Cigarettes/cigarette filters 2,117,931 19 % 2 Food wrappers/containers 1,140,222 10 % 3 Beverage bottles (plastic) 1,065,171 10 % 4 Bags (plastic) 1,019,902 9 % 5 Caps, lids 958,893 9 % 6 Cups, plates, forks, knives, spoons 692,767 6 % 7 Straws, stirrers 611,048 6 % 8 Beverage bottles (glass) 521,730 5 % 9 Beverage cans 339,875 3 % Source: Ocean Conservancy, 10 Bags (paper) 298,332 3 % 2012: http://www. oceanconservancy.org/our-work/ Top 10 total debris items collected 8,765,871 80 % international-coastal-cleanup/top- Total debris items collected worldwide 10,957,338 100 % 10-items-found-1.html. toxic environmental burden and potentially a risk to human fungicides, and rodenticides that are used in the agricultural health through environmental contamination (Fig. 1). TPW is production of tobacco products [15]. In fact, many of the washed by the rain or by street cleaning from urban sidewalks chemicals found in tobacco products are included in the and streets into the storm drains and then into the larger Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory aquatic environment [13]. This review will evaluate the po- (TRI) Program [16]. Chemicals covered by the TRI are those tential for environmental toxicity due to chemicals leached out that cause 1 or more of the following: cancer or other chronic of the main TPW element (cigarette butts); we will propose human health effects, significant adverse acute human health policy options for mitigating TPW. effects, or significant adverse environmental effects. Tobacco contains nicotine (which is a chemical also used in plant pesticides), polyaromatic hydrocarbons, various carcinogenic Potential Toxicity of Tobacco Product Waste nitrosamines, ammonia, acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, phenol, pyridines, acetone, and heavy metals, among other toxicants TPW is unlikely to be thought of as a toxic waste product by [17�� , 18� ]. We will next review the evidence that these smokers, nonsmokers, manufacturers, or communities. chemicals may adversely impact the environment. Further, it has not yet been considered as such by state or Agricultural chemicals have been found to be present in local environmental protection agencies. Nonetheless, the nu- cigarette smoke. For example, Dane et al. [19] found3previ- merous chemicals found in cigarette tobacco and generated ously undetected pesticides (flumetralin, pendimethalin, and trifluralin) in both mainstream and side stream cigarette when the tobacco burns [14� ] are likely to be harmful to the environment, including pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, smoke. Cigarette filters are theoretically designed to absorb Fig. 1 Possible pathways for human health risks due to TPW 210 Curr Envir Health Rpt (2014) 1:208–216 various constituents of cigarette smoke, including gaseous the material deposited on a filter when the smoke is passed emissions and particulates, and, thus, if harmful chemicals in through, is used as a catch-all term for the particulate compo- tobacco leaf are transferred to cigarette smoke, they could also nents of cigarette smoke, except for alkaloid compounds such be retained by cigarette filters and tobacco remnants in as nicotine [36]. Tar is comprised of organic and inorganic discarded butts. Pesticides are manufactured to effectively kill compounds, many of which are carcinogenic [35]. The target organisms at relatively low doses. If these chemicals discarded cigarette filter may retain many of these potential leach from discarded cigarette filters, they could potentially be carcinogens that may be leached into the environment and toxic in various environments and could bio-accumulate in the transferred to aquatic organisms, some in the human food chain. human food chain. Few studies have addressed the toxic effects of TPW on Ethyl phenol is used in the tobacco industry as a flavoring living things, but aquatic ecosystems, such as shorelines and agent and is present in cigarette smoke [20]. It bioconcentrates waterways, may be the most vulnerable settings, as the ma- in aquatic organisms [21]. Thompson et al. [22]identified a jority of land-based litter is ultimately deposited into these relatively high Lethal Concentration (LC) 50 (the concentra- environments [17�� ]. tion at which there is 50 % lethality in a bioassay) for ethyl phenol at 150 mg/L. Although the concentration of ethyl Evidence on Environmental Toxicity Due to Tobacco Product phenol in mainstream smoke of a single cigarette is less than Waste the LC50, it may still represent a potential toxicant in TPW. This toxicity might occur because cellulose acetate, the major Several studies have shown chemicals that leach from ciga- component of cigarette filters, has been shown to effectively rette butts can be acutely toxic to aquatic organisms [11, 37, remove phenols from cigarette smoke [23–26]. Consequently, 38]. Moriwaki et al. [39] found that arsenic, nicotine, PAHs, ethyl phenol may be present in the discarded cigarette filter at and heavy metals such as cadmium and lead are released into much higher concentrations than in cigarette smoke and may the environment as part of roadside TPW. In this study, leach into the environment. roadside waste was collected in a Japanese suburb prospec- Approximately 0.6 % to 3.0 % of the dry weight of tobacco tively over a 4-month period. The distribution, quantity, and is nicotine, which has been used as a plant pesticide since the types of waste were studied, as well as the environmental 15th Century [27]. It became a popular pesticide in the United loading of PAHs and other pollutants over time from this States in the 1940s and 50s [28], but nicotine-based pesticides waste. Environmental contamination by heavy metals, such have not been sold in the United States since 2008 [29]. as lead, copper, chromium, and cadmium, as well as by PAHs Nicotine is known to be acutely toxic to animals and humans (Table 2) from cigarette butt waste, was confirmed. [30, 31]. An average cigarette yields approximately 1–2.3 mg Moerman and Potts determined the concentration of Al, of nicotine [32, 33] and, in this low concentration, nicotine Ba, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sr, Ti, and Zn from cigarette acts as a stimulant; it is the main chemical responsible for butts in aqueous solution, including assessment of pH effects tobacco dependence. Of note is that the nicotine content in and soaking time on metal concentration leached [18� ]. All cigarettes increased 1.6 % between 1998 and 2005 [34]. metals were detected in leachates 24 hours after cigarette butt Additives are reported to constitute 10 % of the weight of addition, with the exception of Cd, and were released at the tobacco in a cigarette and 4 % of the total weight of the varying rates. This research suggests that cigarette butts are cigarette [11]. Additives (such as menthol) make cigarette potential sources of heavy metal environmental contamination smoke more palatable and appealing to the consumer, espe- and have the potential to cause acute and chronic harm to cially those who are initially experimenting with smoking. various organisms. Humectants, for example, increase shelf life, and along with Register [11] followed the USEPA’s 1996 “Aquatic sugars, aid in the dissolution of nicotine, making smoke Invertebrate Acute Toxicity Test, Freshwater Daphnids” pro- milder and easier to inhale. Diethylene glycol, commonly tocol in performing toxicity bioassays of cigarette butts. used as automotive antifreeze, was added to cigarette tobacco Cigarette butt leachate was prepared by allowing cigarette as a humectant in the 1930s [15] and removed as a result of butts to soak in deionized water for 1 hour. This study found public advocacy in the 1980s. This sequence of events, how- that leachates from smoked cigarette tobacco, smoked ciga- ever, contradicts the usual expectation for consumer products rette filters, and unsmoked cigarette filters were acutely toxic such that safety is established for their content before a prod- to the freshwater cladoceran Daphnia magna at 0.125 and uct is used. (Interestingly, history is repeating itself now with 0.25, 1, and 2, and greater than 16 cigarette butts/L (LC50), the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes, which produce sev- respectively. This test took place over a 48-hour period, and eral vaporized chemicals, have no regulatory oversight, and survival was the single endpoint. contain varying amounts of nicotine.) Warne et al. [38] prepared cigarette butt leachate by placing Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture of gases and cigarette butts in water and shaking for 1 hour. The LC50 of submicron-size particulate matter [35]. Cigarette tar, technically leachates from smoked cigarette butts, smoked cigarette Curr Envir Health Rpt (2014) 1:208–216 211 Table 2 Polyaromatic hydrocar- PAHs Concentration (mg/kg wet) Load potential (mg/km/month) bons (PAHs) in roadside cigarette butt waste and roadside soil, Japan, Cigarette butts Roadside soil Fluorene 0.028 0.01 0.0023 Phenanthrene 0.078 0.14 0.0063 Values of load potential were calculated using the quantity of Anthracene 0.071 0.0058 0.00057 cigarette butts per month, con- Pyrene 0.091 0.36 0.0074 centration of PAHs, and length of Benzo(a)anthracene 0.026 0.084 0.0021 sampling environment (3.2 km). Chrysene 0.044 0.11 0.0035 Reprinted with permission from Benzo(b)fluoranthene 0.031 0.088 0.0025 Waste Management. Vol 29(3). Moriwaki H, Kitajima S, Katahira Benzo(k)fluoranthene 0.015 0.055 0.0012 K. Waste on the roadside, ‘poi- Benzo(a)pyrene 0.031 0.12 0.0025 sute’ waste: its distribution and Dibenzo(a,h)anthracene 0.0065 0.016 0.00053 elution potential of pollutants into environment. p. 1192–7. Copy- Benzo(g,h,i)perylene 0.031 0.093 0.0025 right 2009, with permission from Total 0.39 1.1 0.032 Elsevier. [39]. filters, and unsmoked cigarette tobacco were reported for the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). Leachate from freshwater cladoceran Ceriodaphnia dubia at 0.05, 0.15, and smoked cigarette filters without tobacco remnants was less 1.7 cigarette butts/L, respectively. This test took place over a toxic than that from smoked cigarettes with tobacco remnants, 48-hour period and the sub-lethal effect, immobilization, was with LC50 values of 4.1 and 5.5 cigarette butts/L, respectively the single end point. In addition, LC50 for the marine bacte- for both fish species. Unsmoked cigarette filters (without any rium Vibrio fischeri by smoked cigarette butts, smoked ciga- tobacco remnants) were also found to be toxic, with LC50 rette filters, and unsmoked cigarette tobacco was 0.6, 1.25, values of 5.1 and 13.5 cigarette butts/L, respectively for both and greater than 970 cigarette butts/L, respectively. This study fish species. Toxicity was found to be highest for smoked of V. fischeri took place over a 30-minute period and the sub- cigarettes with remnant tobacco, but also for only the smoked lethal effect, bioluminescence, was the single endpoint. filter (without tobacco) and to a lesser extent for the unsmoked Micevska et al. [37] followed USEPA [40] protocols filter. to perform daphnid bioassays and New South Wales In summary, cigarettes and their waste, deposited as Environmental Protection Agency [41] protocols for bacteri- discarded filters with remnant tobacco, contain many um bioassays. Smoked cigarette butt leachates from 19 differ- chemicals that may be harmful to the environment. These ent brands of smoked cigarette butts were found to be toxic to chemicals are sourced from agricultural treatments of tobacco Ceriodaphnia dubia at concentrations between 8.9 and plants, uptake from contaminated soils, additives instilled in 25.9 mg butts/L (48-hour EC50 (immobilization) and to the manufacturing process, the attached cellulose acetate filter, Vibrio fischeri at concentrations between 104 and 832 mg and combustion products generated in the course of smoking butts/L (30-minute EC50 [bioluminescence]). This study also cigarettes. Limited studies of toxicity from these products to completed a Toxicity Identification Evaluation (TIE) phase I aquatic organisms have been reported, but given the total and preliminary phase II tests using USEPA [40, 42, 43] global burden of TPW, additional research is needed to ex- protocols. These evaluations identified nicotine and ethyl plore the actual risks that this toxic waste has on freshwater phenol as the most likely causative toxicants in cigarette butt and marine environments, the fate of such chemicals in aquat- leachate. However, the concentrations of these chemicals in ic environments, as well as their potential for bioaccumulation the leachates were not measured. and human health effects. Using the USEPA standard acute fish bioassay, Slaughter et al. [17�� ] analyzed cigarette butt-derived leachates for aquatic toxicity to saltwater and fresh water test fish. The Filter Farce Survival was the single endpoint, and data were analyzed to identify the LC50 of machine-smoked cigarette butt leachates The discarded cigarette butt consists of unsmoked remnant in the laboratory environment. The LC50 for leachate from tobacco, the paper wrap remnants, and the filter (99 % of smoked cigarette butts (with remnant tobacco intact) was cigarettes sold in the United States are filtered). Each of these approximately 1.1 cigarette butts/L for both the marine components presents an individual environmental concern. In Pacific topsmelt (Atherinops affinis) and the freshwater fact, as discussed above, the cigarette filter may compound the 212 Curr Envir Health Rpt (2014) 1:208–216 potential environmental effect of chemicals leached from butts Conclusions and Recommendations because it is essentially a nonbiodegradable plastic collection of cellulose acetate fibers. Most filters have 2 layers of TPW is ubiquitous, environmentally hazardous, and signifi- paper and/or rayon wrapping, the porosity of which acts cant community nuisance. Although anti-littering laws exist to control the amount of airflow (ventilation) through that may apply to TPW in many jurisdictions, most enforce- the filter. Cigarettes also contain glues to hold the paper ment is directed at large littering problems such as illegal and filter together and alkali metal salts of organic acids dumping. Enforcement of such laws directed toward individ- (eg, sodium acetate) to maintain burning [44]. Although ual smokers’ TPW littering is impractical and has been clearly exposure to UV rays may eventually cause the filter to ineffective in preventing the accumulation of TPW. Research deteriorate into small pieces, the plastic particles and on both the extent and nature of the TPW problem, the their toxicants may never disappear from water or soil potential chemical impact on the environment, wildlife, and and may continue leaching chemicals for up to 10 years humans, the defectiveness of filtered cigarettes, and the tobac- [45, 46]. co industry’s efforts in avoiding responsibility for TPW envi- Cigarette manufacturers have promoted light and low-tar ronmental contamination is needed. The findings would cigarettes that imply a health claim for these filtered (or strengthen the evidence base for taking action on this global ‘safer’) cigarettes. However, smokers who switched to environmental problem. low-yield, filtered brands in the 1950s and 1960s did TPW mitigation requires novel environmental interven- not benefit from reduced exposures to tar and nicotine tions and new partnerships between tobacco control and en- because of changes in their puffing behavior (known as vironmental groups. Many of these interventions would ‘compensatory smoking,’) and design changes in manufactured serve to reduce the social acceptability of smoking while cigarettes [47]. In the early 2000s, tobacco control researchers reducing the environmental burden of TPW. Based on this reported on how filter ventilation represents a dangerous, de- review of the TPW problem, the following policy approaches fective technology that could be regulated out of the cigarette are suggested: market [48, 49]. The National Cancer Institute’s comprehensive review 1. Increase public awareness about the toxicity and other of light and low-tar cigarettes [50] concluded that environmental impacts of TPW “Epidemiological and other scientific evidence, including pat- Environmental advocacy joined with tobacco con- terns of mortality from smoking-caused diseases, does not trol advocacy can be an effective approach to the TPW indicate a benefit to public health from changes in cigarette issues. In fact, the tobacco industry has ‘feared’ such an design and manufacturing over the last 50 years.” Under alliance among these different camps, and has sought to the 2009 U.S. Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco invest in environmental advocacy that emphasizes TPW Control Act [51] tobacco companies are now prohibited cleanups, hand-held ashtrays, butt receptacle installations, in the United States from the advertising or labeling of and other downstream approaches [13]. Mobilizing public tobacco products with the descriptors “light,”“mild,” or opinion on exposure to second hand smoke has resulted in “low”. These terms have misled smokers about implied myriad local and state regulations to prevent this environ- benefits of filtered cigarettes since their market entry, mental health hazard (See: http://www.no-smoke.org/ and, thus, claims about filters that reduce yield of tar goingsmokefree.php?id=519). Thus, similar advocacy, have been found to be misleading and fraudulent [52]. with mobilization of environmental groups, will be The large scale uptake of filtered cigarettes may have necessary to implement effective policies to prevent and been associated with a reported histologic shift in predom- mitigate the environmental burden of TPW. inant lung cancer type from squamous cell to adenocarcinoma 2. Apply the Extended Producer Responsibility Principle to [53, 54]. TPW Smokers may be discouraged from quitting as many EPR requires total life cycle environmental improve- still believe that filtered cigarettes protect their health, ments, placing liability, economic/financial, physical, and and young people may find it easier to inhale their first informational responsibilities onto the manufacturers of puff with filtered cigarettes. Because of these issues, the waste product [55]. Product stewardship (PS) overlaps filters may be considered as defective products in terms principles of EPR but extends responsibility to all parties of protecting smokers’ health. Because of their relative involved in the life cycle of the product. In the case of nonbiodegradability and the preliminary research indicating TPW, this would include sellers, distributors, and perhaps the toxicity of TPW to a variety of aquatic organisms, the filter even facilitators such as bars and restaurants that allow tip as product source of environmental contamination may be outdoor smoking on their premises. A key focus of both a target for product alteration under the principle of Extended EPR and PS involves postconsumer take-back and final Producer Responsibility (EPR see Section 2, below). disposal. This could involve a deposit-return scheme or Curr Envir Health Rpt (2014) 1:208–216 213 simply require manufacturers to take back all discarded and commercial entities, including those funded by the TPW. EPR has been emphasized in Europe since the early tobacco industry [60, 61]. 1990’s, and it was incorporated into official European 6. Cost Recovery Union environmental policy in 2002. However, EPR Tobacco litter abatement costs to cities are substantial, regulations have not yet been considered at the even when the costs of potential environmental toxicity Federal level in the United States [56]. Nevertheless, as and potential effects on tourism are excluded [62]. One of October 2010, 32 US States have enacted EPR laws solution to reducing toxic waste from computers, that mandate costs of recycling or safe disposal of con- telephones, and televisions is a consumer-funded sumer products to be covered by the manufacturers of Advanced Recycling Fee (ARF); this is assessed at these products; these products include batteries, carpets, the time of purchase for these products and it is cell phones, other electronics, fluorescent lighting, meant to pay for the costs of recycling and disposing mercury-containing thermostats, paint, and pesticide properly of any non-recyclable material; California containers [57]. and Maine have implemented such fees on electronics 3. Apply the ‘Precautionary Principle’ to TPW [63]. This principle implies that it is not necessary to have Total public litter abatement costs to a city range from identified each and every TPW toxic chemical and its $3 to $16 million [62]. TPW comprises 23 %–36 % of all potential health effects before regulating TPW and is a visible litter, and, thus, the costs borne by the public for hallmark of environmental health policy in the United TPW range from $1 to $5 million for a typical city. The States and elsewhere. Such policies re-focus the concern costs of mitigating this externality of TPW in a mid-sized on TPW “upstream” from the consumer, community, and metropolitan area (such as has been implemented in San environment to the manufacturers and distributors of to- Francisco) can be offset by a fee of approximately bacco products. $0.20–$0.40 per pack. These fees would then increase 4. Label Cigarette Packages the cost of cigarettes, thereby reducing consumption. With evidence for the effectiveness of cigarette pack- 7. Litigation age warning labels [58], additional package labels and Litigation brought by States against the tobacco indus- public information about the toxicity of discarded butts try has focused mainly on recovering the State-funded may be considered. These would include specific instruc- health care costs attributable to smoking. As for environ- tions for the safe disposal of the toxic waste product and mental costs, the tobacco industry could be held respon- brief information about why this disposal is important. sible for cleanup and nuisance costs associated with to- These labels would contribute to public information about bacco products. EPR may then be invoked to address TPW toxicity. tobacco industry responsibility. Under this principle, liti- 5. Deposit/return Schemes gation has been pursued against manufacturers of several As for deposit schemes, Oregon and several other U.S. other products that have damaged the environment states have implemented deposit-return schemes on glass through class action lawsuits. These suits are typically and metal beverage containers as a way to reduce the based on 2 legal theories: negligence and nuisance. The environmental burden of discarded beverage containers. primary basis for a negligence case would be proof of the These laws impose a consumer-paid monetary deposit on defendant’s wrongful conduct in failing to prevent envi- specified items that is reimbursed when the item is ronmental damages from normal usage of their products returned. The Oregon law reduced litter and increased (again, invoking the ‘precautionary principle’)[13]. recycling, with return rates of up to 90 % and reduction Nuisance-based lawsuits may invoke the “right of quiet of roadside beverage container litter from 40 % to <6 % of enjoyment” that is disrupted such that a tort is being total litter [59]. Similarly, cigarettes could be sold with a committed. Litigation against the tobacco industry by “butt deposit” to be refunded when the butts are returned State or local entities may be considered as a means to to the vender or perhaps to a hazardous waste disposal recover environmental cleanup and nuisance costs. facility. This could encourage smokers to behave more 8. Product Changes responsibly and could provide income to butt retrievers. It Some hazardous products have been banned entirely would also increase the costs of smoking, thus having a by State and local authorities through restrictions on sales beneficial effect on cigarette consumption. Further, ven- and distribution. These include pop-tops on aluminum dor reluctance to accept returned butts (due to aesthetic, cans, plastic tampon applicators, and non-fire-safe chil- logistical, or storage problems) might reduce the number dren’s clothing [13]. Thus, States could consider banning of outlets selling cigarettes. Recycling schemes for TPW the sale of filtered cigarettes if these were to be considered have been proposed by a variety of environmental groups an environmental hazard and nuisance burden. (In 214 Curr Envir Health Rpt (2014) 1:208–216 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative fact, a bill has been submitted in 2014 to the California Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and Legislature to ban the sale of single-use filtered cigarettes reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the for environmental reasons [64].) source are credited. There may in fact be significant positive behavioral and health impacts if the sale of filtered cigarettes were prohibited because such prohibition may reduce con- References sumption of cigarettes in general or smoking initiation among children by making the cigarette less palatable. Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been Filters are a marketing tool and not a health device, and, highlighted as: thus, banning them on environmental grounds may make � Of importance sense, both as an environmental intervention and as a �� Of major importance public health intervention. The issue of whether there is a safe cigarette for con- 1. Litter Free Planet. Exposing the butts. 2009. http://www. sumers has been laid to rest, and the environmental bur- litterfreeplanet.com/id6.html. Accessed May 2011. den of TPW will benefit from the absence of the defective 2. Schneider JE, Decker CS, Doyle A, et al. Estimates of the costs of tobacco litter in San Francisco and Calculations of maximum cellulose acetate filter. However, one may wonder wheth- permissible per-pack fees. Morristown: Health Economics er the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Consulting Group; 2009. Act signed into law in 2009 would preempt State or local 3. Andrews K. Get your butts off the street says Ó Neachtain. Galway actions to ban the sale of filtered cigarettes. This legisla- Advertiser. April 15, 2004. http://archive.advertiser.ie/pages/home.php. Accessed May 2011. tion in fact preserves the rights of states to raise tobacco 4. KHBS. March 15, 2004. Fayetteville battles cigarette litter. http:// tax rates, implement and enforce comprehensive smoke- www.4029tv.com/news/2922574/detail.html. free laws, adequately fund strong state tobacco prevention 5. Niolet B. 2010. Smoking ban sends butts to the sidewalk. http:// programs, enhance access to smoking cessation, and take www.newsobserver.com/2010/05/28/505485/smoking-ban-sends- butts-to-the.html. Accessed May 2011. any actions to restrict the sale and distribution of tobacco 6. Keep Britain Tidy. Rise in cigarette litter. September 14, 2007. products [65]. Thus, banning the sales of filtered ciga- http://www.keepbritaintidy.org/News/NewsArchive/Default.aspx? rettes may be considered by States as a means of signif- newsID=212. Accessed May 2011. icantly reducing the TPW environmental and economic 7. Smith EA, McDaniel PA. Covering their butts: responses to the cigarette litter problem. Tob Control. 2011;20:100–6. burden at the State or local level. 8. City of Tacoma. Can it: keep your butts out of the bay. 2010. http:// www.cityoftacoma.org/Page.aspx?nid=695. Accessed 15 Jan 2014. 9. Rath JM, Rubenstein RA, Curry LE, Shank SE, Cartwright Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank Dr. Eunha Hoh for JC. Cigarette litter: smokers’ attitudes and behaviors. Int J creating Fig. 1. This work was supported by funding from the University Environ Res Public Health. 2012;9:2189–203. doi:10.3390/ of California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program, which was ijerph9062189. received by San Diego State University, and also for the Cigarette Butt 10. Patel V, Thomson GW, Wilson N. Cigarette butt littering in city Pollution Project (501c3). streets: a new methodology for studying and results. Tob Control. 2013;22:59–62. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050529. Compliance with Ethics Guidelines 11. Register K. Cigarette butts as litter-toxic as well as ugly? Bull Am Littoral Soc. 2000;25:23–9. Conflict of Interest Thomas E. Novotny has received speaker fees (for 12. Tynan MA, McAfee T, Promoff G, Pechacek T. Consumption of travel primarily) from the San Jose Department of Environment. He has cigarettes and combustible tobacco—United States, 2000–2011. received support for travel to meetings for the study or otherwise from the MMWR. 2012;61:565–9. American Legacy Foundation, and from TEDx SantAntoni for the TED 13. Novotny TE, Lum K, Smith E, Wang V, Barnes R. talk in Ibiza, Spain. He has been a consultant for the World Health Cigarettes butts and the case for an environmental policy on Organization (TOBREG background paper [unpublished]). He received hazardous cigarette waste. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2009;6: payment for development of educational presentations including service 1691–705. on speakers’ bureaus from the California Tobacco Control Program, 14.� U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The health con- California Department of Public Health for a toolkit development on butt sequences of smoking—50 years of progress: a report of the waste. He received travel/accommodations expenses covered or reim- Surgeon General. 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Published: May 6, 2014

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