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Cigarette butt litter a major environmental hazard — JEU

By Rana Tayseer - May 18,2023 - Last updated at May 18,2023

Representative image (Photo courtesy of unsplash/Brian Yurasits)

AMMAN — The Jordan Environment Union (JEU) is urging the public to refrain from throwing cigarette butts on the ground due to its significant negative environmental impact and high risk of fires, especially in forested areas.

According to the World Health Organisation, Jordan has the highest prevalence of smoking in the world. 

The high rate of smoking negatively affects the environment, especially as cigarette remnants and cartons are spread throughout public areas due to smokers’ nondiscriminatory littering, (JEU) President Omar Shoshan told The Jordan Times on Thursday.

“Smoking is considered one of the main sources of pollution,” Shoshan said, noting that cigarette residue is non-biodegradable waste that pollutes the environment and is harmful to birds, as well as wild animals and marine life.

Smoking also pollutes the air and causes economic losses through the heavy costs of health bills that burden both citizens and the government, Shoshan said.

“Here, we emphasise the organic relationship between health and the environment,” he said.

Shoshan also noted that smoking-related waste can find its way into rainwater drains in cities, leading to their closure, which doubles the possibility of flooding during heavy rains, Shoshan said. 

“This is what happened in downtown Amman several years ago,” he added.

The World Health Organisation noted in a report issued last year that the tobacco industry is responsible for removing 600 million trees around the world and emitting 84 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, the main cause of climate change.


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