Cigarettes Clog Streets as Ashtrays Banned in SF

Tough anti-smoking laws have filled San Francisco's streets with cigarette butts.

By Chris Roberts
|  Friday, Feb 24, 2012  |  Updated 7:20 PM PDT
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Cigarettes Clog Streets After SF Ashtray Ban

Tim Graham/Getty Images

Butts on streets has been a result of San Francisco's anti-smoking laws.

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Tough anti-smoking laws mean San Francisco business owners spend time sweeping the streets cluttered with butts.

Bar patrons clustered outside of doors on streets in North Beach and other areas replete with nightlife don't have ashtrays in which to deposit their completed cancer sticks because of a city law, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

City law says it's illegal to smoke within 15 feet of any open window or doorway. Businesses, like bars, also had to remove all ashtrays because to have ashtrays "enable[s] patrons or employees to break the law," according to the newspaper.

This means that bar employees must work extra hard to clear the streets of discarded cigarette butts, which are tossed on the street for lack of anywhere else to go.

Other cities in countries like Ireland place ashtrays on garbage cans  "a reasonable distance" away from bar doors and other places where smoking must not be encouraged, according to the newspaper.

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