Baltimore Sues Tobacco Bigheads For Butts Pollution


The city of Baltimore is suing several major tobacco companies for up to $5 million a year to clean up cigarette butt litter.


City officials say more than 12 million cigarette butts have been removed from the waters around Baltimore since 2014.


Baltimore City attorney James Shea said, "There are all kinds of cleanup issues, from cleaning up the butts to removing the chemicals they leave behind."


The lawsuit alleges that tobacco companies refused to place warnings on the boxes about how to properly dispose of the filters and that they chose not to make the filters biodegradable.


"According to the documents we've seen, they didn't change them to biodegradable filters because smokers prefer the vaping device that comes with the filter," Shea said.


Shea said the ultimate goal is for the companies to become more environmentally friendly. "We want to stop the practice, but in the meantime, we want compensation for the nature of the cleanup costs and the fines associated with violating various litter regulations." The companies have 30 days to respond in court.



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