Smokers urged to butt out

The Samoa Cancer Society (S.C.S) hopes to put an end to the issue of discarded cigarette butts through a new anti-littering campaign.

In a telephone interview with the Samoa Observer, the Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O) of the S.C.S, Su'a John Ryan, announced the society's "butt it out" campaign.

He said the campaign will focus mainly on the environmental impact of cigarette butts, as well as smoking's ill effects on people's health.

Su'a said chemicals in cigarette butts, if not disposed of properly, will eventually find their way into the water systems and damage the marine food supply. 

S.C.S. with the help of the Civil Society Support Programme (C.S.S.P) has placed receptacles around urban areas for people to dispose of their cigarette butts, instead of simply discarding them.

There are 10 receptacles so far, currently located at the Savalalo market, Fugalei market, the TATTE Building, Vaiala, the Government building, the Traffic lights in front of the Government building, Levili, Vaivase tai, Motootua and Vailima.

"Next week we are going to be doing a collection from all the receptacles and then from there we’ll count how much each of us [has]  collected," Su'a said.

He said the process will allow them to measure how effective the campaign against cigarette-butts has been in changing public opinion. 

He said the society promoting the campaign by talking to groups in the community with an outreach programme, which will be supported by a traditional and social media campaign assisted by their partners. 

The easiest way to help and support the campaign, Su'a said, was to stop smoking.

There are similar campaigns around the world that targeted cigarette butt littering, such as the Western Australian government's Bin Your Butt and the United Kingdom's #BinTheButt campaigns.

The goal of the #BinTheButt was to raise awareness among smokers on the link between the cigarette butt smokers dropped down the drain and its impact on the marine environment. 

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