San Francisco Gives Smokers Another Reason to Quit - NBC Bay Area

San Francisco Gives Smokers Another Reason to Quit

City decides to tax smokers for clean up

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    San Francisco Gives Smokers Another Reason to Quit
    El Tekolote via Flickr
    That cigarette butt will soon cost you extra if you live in San Francisco.

    San Francisco is going to charge smokers to clean up their own mess.

    San Francisco supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a proposal by  Mayor Gavin Newsom to add a 20-cent per pack fee on cigarettes to help pay  for the city's cleanup of discarded butts.

    The vote was included as part of a package of budget-related city  fee increases.

    The fee will be collected from retailers and will go specifically  to city departments that conduct street cleanup of cigarette butts.

    According to the mayor's office, discarded cigarette butts account  for a significant portion of the litter that has to be cleaned from sidewalks  and gutters, and can leach toxins into the environment.

    According to the Department of the Environment, the city expects  to make about $6 million each year from the cigarette fee, the bulk of which  will go to the Public Works and Recreation and Park departments.

    The Board of Supervisors also approved an ordinance  co-sponsored by Newsom and Supervisor Bevan Dufty that would require city  departments to pay for the carbon footprints created from airline travel by  city officials and department employees.

    The Carbon Mitigation Program will require departments to offset  that cost of carbon pollution by paying 13 percent of the airline ticket  price.

    The money is to be used for sustainable projects in the Bay Area  that offset greenhouse gas emissions, according to the ordinance.