The Vernon Youth Action Group, a program of the Vernon Coalition and the Center for Prevention and Counseling, spearheaded a park tobacco clean up at the Vernon Dog Park to raise awareness and educate others on the harmful effects of tobacco on Oct. 9, which is also National Day of Action.
National Day of Action is a day to educate the community about the dangers of electronic cigarettes and encourage them to “ditch juul”. Students were able to collect and discard 50 cigarettes, an electronic cigarette, and other various tobacco litter, including cigarillos and packaging. The Vernon Youth Action Group wants the public to be aware of how toxic discarded tobacco products are to the environment and the dogs who play at this park.
Depending on the condition it’s discarded in, a cigarette butt can take anywhere from 18 months to 10 years to decompose, according to the World Health Organization. Even worse, used cigarette filters are composed of toxins, such as tar, and those chemicals seep into the soil and waterways, damaging organisms that come in contact with them.