Cigarette Butts Polute the Environment (VIDEO)

By Rachel Martin
By Emily Dwire

April 21, 2013 Updated Apr 22, 2013 at 10:24 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – One in four Hoosiers is a smoker, and according to the most recent data, 9 billion cigarettes were sold in Indiana in 2011. Unfortunately, an alarming number of those cigarette butts end up on the streets, polluting our environment.

A new survey conducted by "Legacy" found that 44 percent of smokers admit to throwing their butts on the ground, and 88 percent of people think discarded cigarette butts are a concern. Awareness groups Legacy and Leave No Trace say well, turns out they are.

Most of the cigarettes that are bought in Indiana are filtered and not biodegradable. Cigarette butts are the number one most littered item in the United States, and they're doing harm to the environment.

"So there's these toxins that are leeching into the environment, into the water ways, effecting wildlife, effecting fish. So what we're trying to do together is really educate people about the issue and what things they can do to help,” said Dana Watts, Executive Director of the Leave No Trace Center.

In observance of Earth day, Legacy and Leave No Trace tell everyone, if you see a cigarette butt or any litter on the ground do the earth, and yourself, a favor and pick it up.

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