#BagTheButt: Let’s Keep Our Cigarette Butts Off the Streets

Are you a smoker? I’m not exactly proud of this, but I have been smoking for the past 16 years and have tried quitting (and failed miserably) countless times. What I am proud of, however, is the fact that I am slowly transitioning into becoming a “more responsible smoker”. “Responsible smoker” sounds stupid, I know.

If a smoker wanted to be responsible, they’d just up and quit, right? Sadly, that’s not how my willpower works.

As such, the only thing I can be proud of as a smoker right now is the fact that I am no longer a pasaway smoker. I no longer smoke in places where I’m not supposed to, no matter how crazy the nicotine craving gets. I always ask people around me if they mind if I smoke, even if I am in a smoking area of a coffee shop. And I always, always throw my cigarette butts away properly. If there aren’t any ashtrays nearby, I step on my cigarette or put it out and look for a place where I can actually throw the butt away properly. Aside from that, I also make it a point to tell my friends off whenever I see them throw their cigarette butts wherever they please.

Heaps of Trash and Cigarette Butts Along El Nido's Main Beach

I wasn’t always a responsible smoker, though. There was a time when I, too, would carelessly throw my cigarette butts everywhere without a second thought. After all, there were cigarette butts scattered all over the ground anyway. After all, everyone else around me was doing it. It was when I went on a pub crawl in Ireland when everything changed.

I was walking and smoking and then threw my cigarette butt on the ground. The guy who was heading the pub crawl then looked at me with disgust on his face, pointed at the cigarette butt and made me pick it up and dispose of it properly. Nobody else saw it happen; but I was so ashamed of the incident, I haven’t carelessly thrown a cigarette away that way since.

I know it can sometimes be a pain in the butt, especially if you are already so used to throwing your butts wherever you please or if you always see so many cigarette butts on the ground around you; but just imagine how beautiful the streets of our country could be if we all followed this rule.

Cigarette Butts in BGC

Photo from James Deakin’s Facebook page.

According to the photo, 70,000 cigarette butts are collected from the streets of BGC every week.

How many of those were yours? Let’s help turn our country into a more beautiful and more liveable place by doing our part and disposing of our cigarette butts properly. It’s the least that we can do as smokers. Or, better yet, let’s all try and kick the habit, shall we?

(RELATED: 5 Reasons to Quit Smoking When in Manila)

If you have any helpful tips on how to quit smoking – preferably tips that actually worked for you or someone that you know – I would really love to hear them!