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Mind Your Butts: Addiction And Accountability

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There are a million places to go here, and while I’ve written at length about recovery from addiction and releasing that which no longer serves us, I’m not interested in this particular piece being about how we need to stop using what we use to cope with whatever we experienced in the past. Those wounds are real, the cravings are epic, and the idea of getting through even a single day without the security of your most trusted companion feels like both heaven and hell. I used to use food the way those who left these butts behind use cigarettes, and I know that my concerns about nicotine litter will not be solved by shaming smokers about their addiction.

The time I spent collecting these cigarette butts changed me. At first, it was the anger and judgment that fueled me. I rushed about, squatting and standing, retrieving the evidence and depositing it into my jar. But as I continued, I began to ponder the realities of addiction and coping, shame, and the realities of disassociation. When we are engaged in behaviors that are out of alignment with our integrity, it’s really hard to stay engaged and alert. It hurts too much.

I couldn’t help but wonder about the man with the ring of smoker’s debris around his car. What is brewing within him that leaves a trail of destruction like that, and what happens to the body that receives such persistent abuse?

I wondered about the one who smokes only the first half of the cigarette. I found them from one end of this neighborhood to the other, always the same brand, always burned down to the same exact length before being discarded. I only found them on the driveway, not the sidewalks or grassy areas. And there was a significant collection of random butts at the neighborhood entrance, I can’t help but wonder if there are people living nearby who are keeping secrets from their families.

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Christy Diane Farr

Christy Diane Farr is a catalyst. If that sounds like something you want more of in your life, visit 'The Greenhouse' at and join the Wildflower Evolution on Facebook.


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8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Yes, many people toss anything they can onto the ground be it butts, sofas, even saw a recycling box tossed into the local swamp along with tires, garbage bags, an old basket ball stand to name but a few.

There are often times when there is a large butt container provided for people to put them into but one often sees the butts tossed nearby as some can't be bothered to walk a few feet to get to it. Sometimes smokers are right beside the container and some will still toss the butt onto the ground.

One comment stated that:

"Its people like you that have made smokers into modern day lepers and relegated them to the fringes of society - literally."

Smoking is detrimental to all parties involved and while many do put their butts in the container provided many just can't be bothered.

4:13PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

I am a smoker and it always saddens me to see what other smokers do. When I was a teen I would just throw my butt anywhere. I can't remember when or why it hit me that doing so was equal to my pet hate of people leaving drink and food wrappings on the ground. I began to carry a small bottle to keep my butts in when I have no access to a rubbish bin. I am always hopeful that eventually other smokers will cotton on to the idea of it is our choice to pollute our body but it is not ok to pollute the environment with our butts. I also hope that when other smokers see me put my butt in a bin or in my bottle it will begin to sink in to be conscious and aware of their disposal behaviour.

12:01PM PDT on Jun 16, 2012


3:40PM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

Filter tips are not biodegradable. Yes, trash is trash, I have to put out signs on the dock and noticeable areas of my lakefront place when I end up picking up trash in flower pots, flower beds , the driveway and other unnoticeable areas. DESPITE this, I still pick up cigarette butts, ashtrays left outside filthy with caked on ashes, empty water bottles and soda cans and other discards. I do expect better co-operation and for guests to show some respect. This is a private property, how much more irresponsably discarded trash, butts included litter the rest of the world?

Yes, the heart should not be judging when one is trying to do good, this is a betrayal of the heart center, the seat of the soul.
We all need to show respect by being careful with how we discard our personal trash-if we start this way of life at home, we will treat the outside world with respect . Wishful thinking?
Thank you for the article- good way to vent.

12:33AM PDT on Jun 13, 2012


9:17AM PDT on Jun 9, 2012


8:45AM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

Thanks for picking up the butts.

7:31AM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

What's worse than cigarette filters is chewing gum. You can't pick it up, it makes permanent stains on concrete/stone, it's not biodegradable.

8:44PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

Unfortunately, I too am white. We whites have the amazing ability to take a sacred herb and turn it into a thing of evil.
Real tobacco is not addictive. Only the over processed, over farmed forms of this are nicotine enhanced. Red man has smoked it for centuries, and never heard of cancer or emphysema.
American Spirit tobacco is a joke on us whites, Indians won't smoke that crap. At least not if they can get the real res stuff.

12:49PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

good idea

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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