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Tossing cigs to be outlawed

September 27, 2013

Carelessly discarding cigarette butts now has serious consequences for residents of Illinois. According to the Chicago Tribune, the new law amends the state’s litter control act to include cigarette butts in with objects already considered litter. Starting January 1, 2014, flicking your finished cigarette to the ground carries with it some harsh consequences. Littering in the state of Illinois is labeled as a class B misdemeanor and is punishable by fines up to $1,500 with possible jail time if the incident happens multiple times.

This increase in punishment has gotten the attention of several Illinois residents.  Dean of Students, Jacquelyn Condon, doesn’t necessarily agree with the amendment. “While littering is an issue, the passing of this law seems akin to killing an ant with a sledgehammer. Clearly, there are other ways to address littering …” said Condon via email.

It is unclear what this will be mean for smokers on campus. “I don’t see how it could affect our campus since we are a private institution,” said senior John Donald.

Smokers on campus already have a way to properly discard their finished cigarette butts by using the smoke stashes located around campus. Even with these smoke stations around campus, some students think the problem hasn’t been adequately addressed. “It seems that the stashes are underutilized around campus,” says senior Brad Whitcomb.
“Instead of putting the butts in the stash, they’re thrown about in a radius around the stash.”

While it is unclear how this law will directly affect campus, it is still important to note that this will affect public property.

Editor’s note: the cigarette law, like many laws regarding littering, applies only to public spaces and the police will specifically target those cigarettes that are tossed from moving vehicles, according to the Huffington Post. Thus, Monmouth campus, being privately owned, will have to use its own discretion in how it handles the littered cigarette butts.

Jake McLean
Contributing Writer

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