An Airspace response to a story by Jessica Hinds in the Vancouver Sun: Too many butting out on coasts:

I have a comment, a little-known -- and rather disturbing -- fact and a couple of questions:

  • The headline implies that "butting out" is bad when, in fact, it's a good thing. Perhaps a more accurate headline would have been, "Too many smokers litter coasts." Yes, there are a couple of ways to interpret that too but...;
  • A major sponsor of the Ocean Conservancy is Philip Morris, one of the biggest tobacco companies in the world. When I called OC to express my outrage, I was told that PM recognizes that their products wind up being the leading form of litter, by far...and that PM simply wants to do its part to help with the clean up. If PM was sincere, at the very least, it would print anti-litter messages on its packages. At best, it would get out of the tobacco business entirely; and
  • - Why do bylaw enforcement officers and police turn a blind eye to smokers who litter (most often still-smoldering butts), especially during hot and dry summers? Why are our highways littered with signs warning of a $2000 fine for littering, when nobody is ever charged?

Errol E. Povah
President, Airspace Action on Smoking & Health

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