Our View: Consider common courtesy

Published 12:14 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Throughout November there are campaigns targeted at the harmful effects of smoking on individuals and communities.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. This campaign is designed to raise public awareness about lung cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women, accounting for about 27 percent of all cancer deaths.

The Great American Smokeout is also recognized this month. Spearheaded locally by the Clark County Health Department, the Great American Smokeout encourages people to make a plan to stop smoking. It is recognized annually on the third Thursday in November.

The initiative also spreads awareness about the harmful affects of smoking.

The health department has already begun work for this year’s smokeout, working with Cub Scout Pack 56 to collect cigarette butts. Hundreds of cigarette butts and discarded packages were collected and will be displayed at Kroger during a health fair Thursday to demonstrate the impact smoking has on the environment.

Monday morning, inmates from the Clark County Detention Center spent time cleaning up around the Clark County Courthouse. It was shocking and disturbing to see the number of cigarette butts piling up.

Although smoking is physically harmful, we respect the right of each person to make decisions regarding their own health. But, when it comes to the environment, it’s each person’s responsibility to make better decisions. That includes reducing litter, like cigarette butts.

We plead with smokers, when you’re finished with your cigarette, dispose of it properly. That doesn’t mean tossing it down and snuffing out the fire with your shoe.

Find a proper cigarette waste receptacle or completely snuff out the fire and place the butt in a garbage can. If you must, hold on to it until you reach an ashtray, whether that’s in your car or at your home.

Many of us would never dream of throwing out a fast food bag or a styrofoam cup, but we don’t think twice about tossing a cigarette butt out the window of a moving car. The negative environmental impacts are just the same.

What better time to make a promise to be a more responsible smoker than during this month?

Maybe you’ll even consider tossing the pack for good?