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Cigarette butts ok to compost?

I live in a 4plex, in a college town, with a bunch of college students (or like myself, recently graduated college students who are too cool to move away). Anyway most of us are smokers and cigarette butts are everywhere.

Now, I saw on a list of compostable materials ( that tobacco waste, paper, and cotton products are okay to compost. So cigarette butts, according to that, should be alright. Here, I have a mental dilemma because I don't typically think of cigarette butts as organic in any sense or beneficial to anything in general, really. Yanno, all the arsenic and cyanide and what have you...\

So, what do you think?

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Super Green Thumb
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don't compost those butts

I suspect when the article referred to "tobacco waste paper" they were referring to the unused paper left over from the manufacturing process, which would be ok to compost.

You are talking about used butts that all the tobacco smoke has passed through. It may be "organic" in the sense of carbon based, derived from life. Cigarette filters are mostly cellulose acetate and are biodegradable.

But you are right about all the additives. Cigarettes may contain any of 1400 or so additives, including all the sprays that are used on the tobacco. Here's an article about contents of cigarette litter:

Nicotine is a potent insecticide, which you don't want in your compost, because there are many beneficial insects that help in the composting process. And tobacco carries tobacco mosaic virus, which is a deadly disease that infects tomatoes and peppers and other things in your garden.

At the risk of sounding like your mother, I have to say though that it strikes me a little odd that you are more concerned about the health of your compost pile, than the health of your lungs. If it isn't good for your compost pile (which it isn't), how can it be good for you?

PS Like your Dumbledore avatar! I just saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night, great fun.

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Cigarette butts don't break down. I've been out to my father-inlaw's house and there's ancient, ancient cigarette butts in the cow pasture. The outside paper is gone but the filters never really go away. It's why they pollute so much. The world may be switching to being greener, but tobacco companies sure haven't joined the bandwagon.

As far as waste tobacco and papers, they'll break down, but you're only gonna want natural tobacco. Most Indian cigarettes are all natural(and healthier) and most roll your own tabacco is natural. There's even organic tobacco, but probably just for rolling your own. Rainbowgardener is right about not using tobacco from the giants like Marlboro, it'll kill your compost.

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Have to agree with a0- I'm always yelling at my husband for chucking cigarette butts into my flower beds before I realize they aren't his brand. We've been here for almost 2 years and their are some very OLD cigarette butts buried around here.

You could probably send them to a municipal compost site but I wouldn't throw them in your own.

That was a good point about loose tobacco being a little more natural, if I can't get him to quit maybe I should talk to hubby about switching at least. :?
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

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Heck no is my answer. I would not do it myself.

Please do yourself a favor and quit smoking. I did after it killed my father, not a pretty sight. Do it for yourself and for your family. Sorry to preach at you but if you went through what I did you would understand. :)

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nes wrote:That was a good point about loose tobacco being a little more natural, if I can't get him to quit maybe I should talk to hubby about switching at least. :?
If he won't quit, tell him he has tro smoke Sky Dancers. They're all natural Indian Cigarrettes and actually taste good unlike American Spirits.

The Helpful Gardener
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I like Gixx's answer, and I might be tempted to use even stronger language (@#$% NO!)

Scott Reil

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