A "lit"terbug was issued a hefty fine after Victoria's police chief caught him flicking a cigarette butt out his car window.

Chief Const. Del Manak said he was travelling on a highway in his unmarked police car when he noticed the driver of a Ford Mustang ahead of him toss the lit butt.

"I am driving in the curb lane, traffic was fairly light on Saturday evening and I noticed that the driver had a cigarette in his hand. He had put the ashes out the window as he's driving and I saw that he took the last drag of the cigarette and he flicked it out his driver's window," he said.

"It went in the air and landed in front on the road."

That action cost the 21-year-old driver $575 under the province's Wildfire Act.

When the police chief asked him why he did it, the driver pointed to his cup holder saying he didn't want his car burned, Manak said.

The drive was displaying irresponsible behaviour but responded reasonably when confronted, he said.

"I said to him, 'You can't flick the lit cigarette out the window. What if you start a fire, especially with some of the dry weather that we are having?' And he said, 'I didn't think about that.' "

Human activities like dropping cigarettes, open burning and the use of engines or vehicles are responsible for about 40 per cent of wildfires in the province, the BC Wildfire Service's website says.

Manak told the driver that many forest fires are preventable and he needs to be "far more careful," he said.

This is not the first time Manak gave out a fine for a lit cigarette butt being thrown out of a car window. Last September the police chief handed out a $81 fine for littering.

Manak said there are "a thousand other ways" that people can properly dispose their cigarette butts, and he hoped this fine would be a "lesson" for people to be more careful.

Everybody who throw a cigarette butt on the ground instead of disposing it properly should be fined.
Each year, an estimated 5.6 trillion cigarette butts and other tobacco waste end up in the environment, polluting water. It is the largest source of beach pollution, even surpassing pollution resulting from the use of plastic straws.
There are approximately 600 different ingredients in cigarettes; when burned, cigarettes create more more than 7,000 chemicals. At least, 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are toxic.
Police authorities around the country should follow Victoria police chef example.

Bravo! to Rene and the Victoria Police chief. Cigarettes/tobacco products, have garnered billions in profits and created untold damages to humans and other life forms - not just from smoking but from all the collateral harms, the "smoking in bed house fires", the tobacco ignited fires in buildings and in forests, the accumulated poisons from discarded butts that leach into soil and water, and are ingested/absorbed by flora and fauna.

Nowhere on earth is immune to this scourge. Tobacco Companies may have paid eyewatering fines and compensation but have only scratched the surface of their liabilities. Smoking may be declining but now we have nicotine based systemic pesticides that are already disrupting the vital invertabrate/insect parts of the biosphere. What started as an evolutionary defense against herbivore and insect depredations has now been "weaponised" by human intervention into an agent of global destruction.

Oh my goodness, people! Yes smoking and tobacco is a disgusting scourge. But the really important message here concerns our laziness to consider the consequences of our actions in the bigger picture of the world around us. The young man here displays that sense of oblivion and entitlement we in such a beautiful part of the world get to maintain, and this needs to change!

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