Smoking :: UK Smokers face fines ?80 inside and out

After July 1, smokers who comply with the smoking ban in England by lighting up outside a public building instead of in it could face an on the spot fine for littering.

That?s if they discard their cigarette end on the street.

Alan Woods, Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy 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.?

That?s why Keep Britain Tidy is launching a poster campaign from Monday June 4 to encourage all smokers and businesses to take responsibility for cigarette ends. Posters will appear on bus stops, billboards and phone boxes across England.

Already, nearly 80% of streets are blighted by cigarette stubs ? 20% more than five years ago. Not only is it unsightly, but costly too. The annual clean up bill stands at ?200 million just for cigarette ends. With such a widespread problem, it is likely to ignite further once the smoking ban is in force if businesses and smokers are not prepared.

Keep Britain Tidy asked those smokers who do not ?bin their butt? now, why not. The majority were concerned that if they threw their finished cigarette into a bin, it may set alight.

While Keep Britain Tidy recognises this genuine concern, there are solutions ? such as portable ashtrays. From Monday June 4, Tesco will be the first national store ever to retail portable ashtrays.

The ?Ashcan?, which mimics the size and shape of a cigarette, fits nicely into a cigarette packet where it can be used to extinguish stubs. It is heat resistant, stores up to three ends at a time without omitting any odour and can be bought from Tesco stores in England.

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