It’s Bad Enough That You Smoke . . .

But do you have to throw your butts out the car window too? I realize the only “legal” place to smoke these days is in one’s car; however, aren’t these cars equipped with ashtrays? Do you have to litter our streets—or worse—cause you’re fiery, smoking butt to hit my car as it drives behind you?

I wonder, has all that smoke swirling inside your brain and your lungs caused you to forget your manners? Or were you taught any manners in the first place? If you’re dumb enough to smoke, perhaps you’re too dumb to learn how to behave in polite society.

(I can feel the flames of a hundred pissed-off smokers hurling butts and blowing smoke in my face for that comment. But come on! You ALL know the act of sucking on these cancer sticks is stupid, right?)

According to the anti-litter group Keep America Beautiful, smokers in the United States generate 4.5 trillion butts each year. And it’s obvious that a great many of them are not going into ashtrays.

We see butt-throwing nearly every time we get behind the wheel; however, the other day there was an incident that really caught my attention. As we drove along Tanque Verde Road (a main artery here in Tucson), we followed a fancy BMW. All of a sudden a smoldering butt flew out of the BMW driver’s window and it hit the grille of our Tahoe.

My husband’s angry reaction caused him to honk the horn and curse. But it was in vain. When the light turned green, we changed lanes and drove up beside the Beamer, just to get a look at someone who drove a classy car but, in our opinion, had no class.

The smoker/driver was a woman clad in big, Jackie-O sunglasses and a stylish cap, and she was too preoccupied with her phone conversation to even glance in the direction of the Tahoe next to her with four sets of eyes looking at her in judgment. I imagine that within another mile or so, once she clicked the OFF button on her cell phone, she lit up again, sucked in some more tar and nicotine, and then rolled down her darkened window and butt-tossed again.

Perhaps the next witness (or victim) took down the license plate number and state, the vehicle make and model, along with the date, time, address or cross-streets and city where the incident occurred, and reported her littering crime to the “Don’t Trash Arizona!” hotline:

1-877-354-8837 (1-877-3-LITTER).

Because guess what? Throwing cigarette butts out the window of your car is a misdemeanor VIOLATION, which can cost as much as $500 in the state of Arizona.

For more information about the litter hotline and efforts to keep Arizona clean, please visit the following websites:

Don’t Trash Arizona!:

Tucson Clean & Beautiful, Inc.:

And for pity’s sake, if you’re a smoker please USE YOUR ASHTRAY! Trust that I am not just blowing smoke about this problem. If I see you throw your butt—regardless of whether or not it hits my car—I’m going to report you.

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