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Amount of cigarette, cigar trash stinks

By Kent Horner

I begin by stating that we are governed by too many laws already, butt (sic), I am at a point of bewilderment at the actions of some that I can no longer keep to myself.

I hope to ignite some public discussion on the problem of smokers polluting the streets, sidewalks and gutters of beautiful La Jolla with their disgusting cigar and cigarette butt trash.

This is not an assault on cigar and cigarette smokers. Pollute yourselves. I don’t care. If the scientific fact, and it is a fact, that smoking processed tobacco products kills in a slow, painful manner doesn’t connect with people who still choose to smoke, then puff away I say.

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I honestly don’t care if people choose to smoke. I respect personal rights too much to impose my beliefs on others. I’m not even bringing in the second-hand smoke issue, or the third-hand smoke issue either. I will gladly shut my business door or roll up my car window. I will even happily cross the street to avoid breathing in the exhaled poison of a cigarette smoker.

My issue is with the disregard for the planet and our environment some - not all - smokers have with dropping their trash on the ground.

I own a business on Prospect Street and recently took an impromptu survey of the 100 feet of sidewalk adjacent to and in front of my building. On this stretch of sidewalk, there were four trash cans and 193 - YES 193 - cigar and cigarette butts polluting it.

Does this collection of trash represent one person leaving 193 individual pieces of garbage on the ground or does this represent 193 individuals doing the same? How many “100 feet of sidewalks” like this? Is this acceptable to anyone?

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I invite anyone reading this to search Wikipedia.com for “outdoor smoking bans” and see what the world has been forced to do.

To smokers I ask one more rhetorical question, “Will you please stop it, or does society have to enact another law limiting everybody’s civil liberties more?”

Kent Horner is a La Jolla Village business owner.