Smokers warned of fines for dropping buttsThey could get on-the-spot penalty for littering

02 June 2007

Smokers have been warned they face on-the-spot fines for littering if they drop butts in the street.

Those trying not to be fined for breaking England's ban on smoking in enclosed public places from July 1 could be hit by a different fine.

Alan Woods, Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy (KBT), said: 'Smokers will think they are avoiding a fine by lighting-up outside.

'If they don't dispose of their cigarette stub responsibly, by putting it in a bin or portable ashtray, they are risking being issued with a fine of up to £80 for littering instead.'

Nearly 80 per cent of streets are blighted by cigarette stubs - 20 per cent more than five years ago, according to KBT.

Clean up bill

The annual clean up bill stands at £200 million just for cigarette ends.

An estimated 122 tonnes of cigarette ends, matchsticks and other bits of smoking litter are dropped every day.

KBT are now urging smokers to bin their butts.

Tesco is selling portable ashtrays from June 4.

The 'Ashcan', which mimics the size and shape of a cigarette, fits into a cigarette packet where it can be used to extinguish stubs.

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