Cigarette Butts Are Litter
focuses on education, awareness and action
San Diego, CA — October 19, 2005 — Young surfers, skaters, snowboarders and general outdoors enthusiasts will join hands on Sunday, October 30th from 11:00 a.m. — 1:00 p.m. at the corner of Garnet Ave. and Mission Blvd. in Pacific Beach. They’ll hold signs, talk with people and hand out lip balms that bear the message “Cigarette Butts Are LITTER. This will be the first of at least four similar events planned through December 2005.
“It sucks when you’re surfing, waiting for a wave, and some cigarette butt comes floating up next to you, said Grom Project team rider Adam Knox. “Me and my friends think the main reason people flick cigarette butts out their windows is that they don’t realize how long it takes them to actually disintegrate, like up to five or seven years.
“We picked the day before Halloween to launch the series of education and awareness-raising events, because this is one of those holidays where 1000’s of people are out on the streets, potentially making a huge mess. We’re hoping to keep some cigarette butts and other trash from ever making it to the streets of our beautiful city by reminding people that it’s ALL trash, said Grom Project Executive Director Kim Hellman. “It’s exciting to join forces with other San Diego-based nonprofits to help educate people about this stuff. Not only are cigarette butts the most littered item on the planet, according to the Ocean Conservancy, but they are extreme fire hazards as well.
According to the American Burn Association, cigarettes are the most common ignition source for fatal residential fires, accounting for approximately 29% of the nation’s fire deaths. Every year, fires started by cigarettes are responsible for more than $6 billion in societal costs and direct property damage, about 2500 injuries and over 1000 deaths.
More than 100 fatal victims are innocent bystanders – children and nonsmokers.
In the past, a well-known “Tobacco Giant put almost all of the blame for cigarette litter on a lack of public ashtrays, which research shows has no basis in reality.
“Not only are billions of cigarettes littered right out of car windows, billions more are littered within feet of existing ashtrays, said CigaretteLitter.org founder Walter Lamb. “You need to give smokers all of the facts about cigarette litter so they know why it so important not to litter, even if that means carrying a personal ashtray, or walking a little extra to an ash/trash receptacle.
The Grom Project works “to educate and inspire kids to build a better future through a worldwide network of boarding communities. The unique Inside Edge program teaches kids about nutrition, athletic and mental training, goal-setting and competition itself. The Grom Project is a 501(c) 3 organization. All donations are 100% tax deductible. For more information on Cigarette Butts are Litter and the Grom Project, please visit www.gromproject.org or call Kim Hellman at 858.205.4766.
Founder, Executive Director