SAN DIEGO - The California Highway Patrol, environmental, and fire prevention advocates have launched a newly upgraded Cigarette Litter Hotline, “Hold on to your Butt.” This is a public education campaign focused on holding accountable smokers who toss their cigarette butts out of vehicles while navigating San Diego County’s highways.
This program will empower county residents to report smokers who illegally discard their cigarettes on the roadways. Utilizing a toll-free hotline, 1-877-211-2888 (BUTT), citizens will be able to record the date, time, and place of the littering, along with the license plate number of observed cigarette litterbugs.
Drawing from the information recorded by concerned motorists, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Border Division will send warning letters, on CHP stationary, to tobacco litter offenders.
Worldwide, an estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are tossed out daily and are the most littered item in the United States. Butts discarded on sidewalks and streets eventually end up in storm drains, which flow into the ocean. When the butts get wet from contact with a body of water, toxins gathered by the filter are released.
This threatens the quality of the water and many forms of aquatic life. In addition, littered cigarette butts are a fire risk and have caused significant wildfires in the past.