Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Take on Terracycle's Cigarette Waste Brigade

I'm a big fan of Terracycle - if you haven't yet heard about them, go check out their website
Recently they launched Cigarette Butt Collection & Recycling Programs in the US and Canada and I've seen some chatter as to whether or not this is a good idea.
SERIOUSLY?... Does anyone think it's not a good idea to clean up these cigarette butts that are littering and polluting our streets, parks, and stairwells?  The argument that providing a solution for cigarette butt waste encourages smoking is insane but not original.
As a doctor and a mom, I am very anti-smoking. 
I'm often warning smokers of the dangers their smoking poses to the health of themselves and their family.
I also warn against unprotected sex with multiple partners, while at the same time supporting free condoms and HPV vaccines.
I encourage obese patients with high cholesterol to exercise and lose weight, yet that doesn't stop me from prescribing cholesterol-lowering medication.
I tell patients with external ear infections to stop using cotton-buds to clean their ears (an unnecessary and dangerous habit), yet I still give them antibiotic ear drops.
So if, after counselling patients on smoking cessation, I can leave my clinic and pick up the hundreds of cigarette butts littering the stairwell (illegally), the sidewalk and the streets and have a great program to send them to;  that makes me a holistic healer, not a hypocrite.
You can read details about Terracycle's program on their brigade page, but the basics are that you collect cigarette butts, send them to terracycle, earn money for your charity and know that the butts are being safely processed and recycled into new products.

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