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April 22nd is Earth Day and much of the world will use that day to focus on global climate change. In Lawrence County, let’s expand that focus. While others are looking up, let’s also look down at our feet – at our streets, parks and sidewalks.

Cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded piece of waste worldwide, and they’re not biodegradable. It is estimated that 1.69 billion pounds of cigarette butts become toxic trash every year, creating an enormous environmental, health and economic burden. A study showed that cigarette waste easily meets standardized tests for city and state agencies to label a substance as toxic waste. This hazardous material can persist in the environment for 5 to 10 years and is often ingested by aquatic creatures, wildlife, and pets, not to mention small children, who can suffer serious health problems as a result.

The environmental impact of tobacco products is another reason to continue comprehensive tobacco prevention and control efforts. Let’s work to help Lawrence County be free of cigarette butt litter.

This Earth Day let’s all pay attention to the areas around us and help clean up those cigarette butts.

If you smoke, you can make the decision to do the right thing for yourself, your family and the environment. Free help is available through 1.800.QUIT.NOW or

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