UAE: finding 48, 000 cig. butts on beach angers residents


Cigarette buttUAE residents have hit out at smokers after a whopping 48,000 cigarette butts were gathered in just 60 minutes during a clean-up on Umm Suqeim Beach in Dubai.

More than 350 people participated in the third annual Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group Beach Clean-Up. Volunteers collected an average of more than 300 disgusting stubs per person in the one-hour hunt, the group said.

With a cigarette weighing about 1g, the 48,000-butt haul roughly equates to about 20kg – or a holiday suitcase full of cigarette ends. The collection had non-smokers and many other residents fuming.

“Throwing cigarettes on a beach is so irresponsible,” said Gerald Opsima. “I still see people put out their cigarettes in the sand like it’s nothing. Do they think about who is going to clean it up? It’s damaging to the environment.”

American doctor Mark Janowski, from the Dubai Physiotherapy and Family Medicine Clinic in Jumeirah, said simply: “That’s gross.”

He added: “Anything to do with cigarettes and smoking can lead to cancer, including cigarette butts.”

Janowski said there are 200 carcinogens, such as formaldehyde, in cigarettes. He said that if a young child picked up a butt and put it in their mouth, it could prove harmful. The same goes for birds, he added.

Dr Janowski added: “All the carcinogens in the cigarette butt are still trapped inside it. There’s also a choking hazard too.”

Smokers were quick to air their views. American Daniel Whitman, 32, said: “I’m sure there will eventually be a smoking ban on all beaches because of this, which, as a smoker, I won’t be happy about. We are already restricted on when and where we can smoke – so I think smokers need to improve their habits.”

But fellow cigarette fan Danya Khouzami insisted: “That number doesn’t really shock me.” The 24-year-old Lebanese national added: “I think people forget that it’s litter. I’m even guilty of doing it sometimes without thinking.”

People in Dubai who don’t dispose of litter correctly – including cigarette ends – can be fined between Dhs500 and Dhs1,000. The fine in Abu Dhabi is Dhs200. Last year, Ajman Municipality also announced those caught littering could face up to Dhs10,000 in fines, the highest penalty in the UAE.

7 days in Dubai



5 responses to “UAE: finding 48, 000 cig. butts on beach angers residents”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar

    In Lebanon, you can’t find a descent butt among the litter. :-)))))
    But, was anyone supplying ‘ash-trays’ and deposit places for those?? And signs to help? No.
    I like Beer-Bottles … work well, and get return-income too. 😉
    Figures that they can get a doctor to spout crap too. ‘Oh, your child could pick it up.’ Right. Could pick up bird-shit too. In India they lay on the cow-shit-beaches. Anyone bitch about the cows there?? Right … try to keep those off your blanket and you’ll get shot.
    What was this? A ‘slow-news-day’ item??

    1. Hannibal Avatar

      Yes surprising that the story of the Lebanese bright kid student who was found poisoned in his dorms did not make the news @yalibnan 😉

      1. Hind Abyad Avatar
        Hind Abyad

        They think UAE cigarette butts are of interest.. sad.

  2. Super_habib Avatar

    I’m not surprised about this, just imagine the mind of people who frequent these beaches! But 5th brings up a good point, where are the ashtrays, where are the recepticals? I see it all the time If it’s a place where people are prone to smoking, lazy bastards put up some goddamn waste containers!

  3. Hannibal Avatar

    In a sex-frustrated nation people pick up the habit of smoking… LOL

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