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Keep your butts to yourself

November 16, 2007 - Amy Jo Hanna-Eckenrode
Co-worker Lori (Benson's mommy) emailed me some very interesting information that I'd like to share.  Lori said she's becoming a pro at flicking cigarette butts.
Let me allow Lori tell it:
"I never thought I'd be saying something like that, given the fact that A.) I don't smoke cigarettes, and B.) neither does my husband. I have always had a pet peeve (no pun intended, eh Lori?!) about cigarette butts littering the world. (While I feel it is your right to smoke if you choose - use an ashtray or trash can!!!) For the past few weekends, it seems to be becoming habit for our yard to be the neighbors' ashtray. I am not sure who is visiting them on the weekends, but they apparently like flicking their cigarette butts over the fence, so I keep flicking them back. I have never seen who is doing it, nor have I seen the neighbor lady to ask her to mention it to her company. Not only do they get wet and puff up like little tumbleweeds, they don't digest well in dogs. I am seriously considering hanging a sign within sight of the fence stating what the vet bills totaled, so that when we miss picking up enough of them and they accumulate in our always-hungry-for-non-food-stuff Golden Retriever (the would be Benson!), they know how much their bill will be. He's sure to eat them, and I for one, DO NOT want to go through that again.
So, as I am on the subject, I started surfing the net, and checking into what other problems, besides digestive tract blockages these butts can cause. Tobacco doesn't taste good, but for those canines that get past the taste and eat a cigarette butt (or cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or even nicotine gum or patches) possible side effects are: vomiting, diarrhea, and nicotine poisoning (which can be fatal in smaller pets).
So if you are a smoker, or if your neighbors are, keep an eye out in your yard, or anywhere you may take your pet where he may come into contact with these tobacco related objects. Not only is it litter, it could kill your pet."
- Benson's Mom

Thanks, Lori. I agree. I don't mind if people smoke. As long as I am not forced to inhale the second hand smoke. My dad smoked three packs of Camels unfiltered his whole life (which ended at age 59 thanks to his habit. I was only 21 years-old when I lost my best friend). I'd love to see what my lungs look like from 21 years of all that second-hand smoke. I always hope that when I see rude littler bugs throw their butts out the car window that it ends up blowing back in their car  - or if they litter and flick it on the ground that it falls down into their shoe or pants cuff. I've always had a bad habit of swallowing my gum (I checked Mom, it does not stay in your system for 7 years. Your body can't digest gum so it comes out the other end).  Perhaps smokers should just swallow their butts when their done? - Jess and Mazey's mom

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