Stone legislation introduced cigarette filter ban EMBARGOED

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Contact: Arianna Smith                                                                        January 14, 2014

                           Stone Introduces Bill
                          to Ban Cigarette Butts
SACRAMENTO –Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) has introduced Assembly Bill XX,
legislation that would protect wildlife and preserve California’s coast and waterways by banning
cigarette filters. Filters, commonly known as cigarette butts, are a costly and prevalent source of litter in
California communities and recreational areas.

“Cigarette filters leach dangerous chemicals into the environment, kill animals that eat them, and cause
communities to spend millions of taxpayer dollars for clean-up,” said Stone. “California has many laws
in place to curtail cigarette litter, but people continue to illegally discard tons of cigarette butts each
year. The current laws aren’t sufficient to address this major problem.”

Findings published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health report
that 845,000 tons of cigarette butts wind up as litter around the globe each year. As a result of the litter,
cigarette butts remain as the single most collected item of trash collected by volunteer groups and
organizations that conduct parks, rivers and beach cleanup events.

“Our volunteers have collected 466,000 cigarette butts in our clean ups just around the Monterey Bay
National Marine Sanctuary alone since 2007,” said Laura Kasa, Executive Director of Save Our Shores.
“This is by far the most pervasive type of litter in our environment. Our community has attempted to
educate the public about the dangers of this toxic litter but it has not made a significant dent in the
problem. I commend Assemblymember Stone's creative approach to this issue. It is time for bold

California has strong laws to deter people from littering, but people continue to discard cigarette butts on
roadways, in parks, in gutters, and other places in their communities. In California, citation rates for
cigarette litter from vehicles are annually about five times the amount of citations issued for general
litter from vehicles. Unsurprisingly, butts remain the single most littered item on our highways. The
California Department of Transportation has estimated the costs to clean up cigarettes on roadways at
$41 million annually. The City and County of San Francisco estimates its costs for cleanup at $6 million

“Banning the sale of single-use filters in California will substantially reduce the burden of cigarette butt
waste cleanup for our communities, help protect our treasured beaches and wildlife, and reduce blight in
our urban living environments. Cigarette butts are the most commonly collected waste item in the
world, and with this legislation, California can show how the volume of this waste and its impact on the
environment can be substantially reduced,” said Dr. Thomas Novotny, Professor of Public Health at
SDSU, Former Assistant Surgeon General in the US Public Health Service, and CEO of Cigarette Butt
Pollution Project.

Discarded cigarette filters hurt people and wildlife alike. From 2006 to 2008, the American Association
of Poison Control Centers reported approximately 12,600 cases of children ingesting cigarettes or
cigarette butts, especially children under six years of age. According to the National Oceanic
Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Response and Restoration, it is common for fish, birds and
other animals that mistakenly eat cigarette butts to starve to death as a result of a false feeling of
satiation from the plastic in the cigarette.

During his first term in the Assembly, Stone has emerged as a leader on environmental protection. Mark
has fought to curb illegal coastal development, reduce plastic pollution, and clean up drinking water
supplies. In his capacity as Chair of the Select Committee on Coastal Protection, he has held hearings
investigating threats to the Pacific Ocean, oil spill prevention efforts, and plastic garbage effects on the
coastal environment.