Smokers Tossing Cigarette Butts in Illinois Will be Fined $1,500

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Starting on January 1st 2014, anyone who flicks a butt out the window of a car or anywhere else on public property in Illinois will face a hefty fine totaling $1,500.

Although disposal units for cigarette butts are installed throughout most urban areas, a significant amount still ends up on neighborhood streets and roads.

Now, authorities in Illinois are taking strong measures to address that issue. Starting January 1st 2014, anyone who flicks a cigarette out the car window or anywhere else on public property could face a hefty fine up to $1,500.

The former State Representative, Deb Mel sponsored the amendment to Illinois’ litter control act which now lists cigarettes as litter. The governor just signed the bill this month.

The executive director of the organization called Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, Lori Gummow is thrilled with the decision. She stated “Cigarette butts are not biodegradable. They’re made of cellulose acetate. They get stuck in storm water sewers, and birds eat them and can’t digest them.”

Flicking a cigarette on public ground will be considered a Class B misdemeanor. The not to exceed $1,500 fine isn’t the only punishment as offenders could also spend up to 6 months behind bars.

Second convictions are class A misdemeanors, while third or subsequent offenses are felonies punishable by a fine of $25,000 and jail time of one to three years.