This is a tricky question because cigarette butts and cigarette smoke directly affect the environment in different ways. Internationally, between 4.3 and 4.5 trillion non-biodegradable cigarette butts are disposed of annually, accumulating to over 500,000 tonnes of pollution each year. This is a serious issue since it takes around twelve years for the average cigarette butt to break apart (which is different than degrading). When put in water, cigarette butts leach chemicals like cadmium, lead and arsenic into water ecosystems. The chemicals in cigarette smoke cannot be easily filtered by the plants which clean our air, leading to lower air quality and an overall lower quality of life. Unfortunately, both cigarette butts and cigarette smoke have a significant negative environmental impact.
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