Commentary: Smokers need to stop cigarette litter

They're everywhere. You see them in the grass, on sidewalks, outside buildings. You see them at beaches and on playgrounds. You see them tossed out of cars onto the road, sparks aglow, in the middle of a drought.

They're eaten by animals and, sometimes, young children.

They wash down storm drains along highways and streets, and flow into rivers, lakes and the ocean.

They're made of acetate (plastic) and take years to degrade.

Yes, you guessed it. They're cigarette butts.

Most people feel some obligation not to throw trash on the ground, but cigarette butts seem to be the last major exception to the rule.

Finally, people are getting fed up. Some communities ban smoking at beaches and playgrounds because they don't want to have to pick up the cigarette-butt litter.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.