Leave No Trace Joins Legacy® to Reduce Cigarette Butt Litter


Boulder, Colorado (May 7, 2013) – This month,Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics partnered with Legacy to raise public awareness about the harmful environment impacts of cigarette litter. The bilingual public service announcements were released earlier in the month to shed light on toxic waste created by cigarette litter.

To help reach the broader public Dana Watts, Leave No Trace’s Executive Director, joined Dr. Cheryl Heaton, DrPH, Presidnet and CEO of Legacy, in Washington, D.C. recently appeared on morning news programs across the country, educating Americans about the impacts of cigarette butt litter. The two joined forces to express concern that cigarette butts are leaching toxins into our waterways, poisoning our wildlife, and threatening our trails, and open spaces. The underlying message of their tour stressed that even though the impacts of cigarette litter can be devastating, the solutions to prevent it are simple.

The New York Times led the charge announcing the campaign with a feature print and online article raising awareness for toxic cigarette litter. As communities across the country celebrated Earth Day, several outlets helped spread the word by highlighting the public service announcement online. Fast Company and ScientificAmerican both featured online articles, while AdWeek highlighted the PSA as their “Ad of the Day.”

The national public service announcements are currently airing on mainstream and cable networks, as well as radio. While the word continues to spread, here are four ways to get involved and prevent harmful, toxic cigarette litter in your community.

Four Ways to Get Involved

  1. Get the facts about the impacts of cigarette butt litter, and tell your friends and family.
  2. When you are in the outdoors, carry a small plastic bag in your pocket or backpack and pick up cigarette butts and other micro-trash.
  3. Share the Rethink Butts PSA on your Facebook page or share it via Twitter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfXgmHihfWk
  4. Don’t litter cigarette butts in the outdoors or anywhere. They are bad for the environment and they are litter.

About the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
The award-winning Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is the international leader in sustainable recreation practices. The nonprofit organization teaches children and adults vital skills to minimize their impacts when they are outdoors. Leave No Trace is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics program used today on public lands across the nation by all types of outdoor recreationists. For more information about Leave No Trace, visit: www.LNT.org.


Legacy helps people live longer, healthier lives by building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Legacy’s proven-effective and nationally recognized public education programs include truth®, the national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy’s life-saving programs, visit LegacyForHealth.org. Follow us on Twitter @legacyforhealth and Facebook www.Facebook.com/Legacy.