Toss a Cigarette Butt, Face Heftier Fines in Ocean City - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Toss a Cigarette Butt, Face Heftier Fines in Ocean City


OCEAN CITY, Md.- Tossing a cigarette butt from your car while driving could soon cost you big bucks.

"I get very angry because you are throwing a lit product out of a car window," said Ocean City councilman Brent Ashley. "And that could start a fire. We've had many dumpster fires because of cigarettes being thrown in the dumpster. So I get very angry." 

And a lot of people who tip toe around cigarette butts in Ocean City are also angry.
"It's like if I throw out a piece of trash, McDonalds wrapper out. And a police officer sees me, he's going to give me a ticket for and it should the same rule for cigarette buds."

Councilman Ashley said if this new law is passed, you'd be hit with a pretty hefty fine the first and second time you're caught. But caught a third time, you could be thrown in jail and face hefty fines. Ashley said discarded cigarette butts are everywhere and something needs to be done.

"There are butts between the board, there are butts up against the buildings," said Ashley. "There are butts up against the planters up there. Very unsightly and if you really stop and look it's all butts."

Dave Wilson is the director of the Coastal Bays Program. He supports stiffer penalties.

"Of course they are toxic also," said Wilson. "You put a cigarette butt into a ten gallon bucket with fish, those fish will usually die within 24 to 36 hours due to the nicotine that are actually in those butts."

Wilson said, nationally, 1.7 billion pounds of cigarette butts are collected each year; each being a chemical cocktail with 160 toxic chemicals. Which is why Brent Ashley believes violators in Ocean City don't need a slap on the wrist, but a slap on their wallets.

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