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After more than forty years as a registered nurse, I am switching my focus from the individual patient to a global concern: Planet Earth.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that most chronic disease is preventable simply by changing unhealthy behaviors such as poor diet, tobacco use, substance abuse and sedentary lifestyle. When I was a nurse, I stressed the importance of prevention, and I continue to advocate prevention in my current role as President of Sidewalk Buttler™.

In case you missed it, the WHO also reports 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are discarded into our environment annually. That’s 1.6 billion tons of toxic waste. Did you know that cigarette filters contain 7,000 toxic chemicals including human carcinogens, arsenic and heavy metals? These chemicals end up on our streets, go down our sewer and storm drains, and eventually are carried directly into our water.

BUT…one small change in behavior can eliminate this waste. In a perfect world, everyone quits smoking. But in a better world, smokers responsibly discard their cigarette butts into a Sidewalk Buttler and those butts are recycled into items such as pallets and industrial mulch.

We have over 1,000,000 examples of smokers doing the right thing right here in Portland Maine by depositing their smoked butts into a Sidewalk Buttler. When it’s all about clean water and a healthy environment, wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to work together to prevent toxic cigarette chemicals from poisoning our planet?

Follow us on Twitter and Like Us on Facebook and help us spread the word about the link between cigarette litter and clean water!

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