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Leaving Cigarette Stubs in Your Ashtray Can Be as Harmful as Smoking, Finds Study

Representative image. (Reuters)

Representative image. (Reuters)

This revelation is important as many adults think smoking car will protect non-smokers or children, but if the ashtray stays seated in the car with the butts, “exposure is happening”.

In a recent research, scientists found out that discarded cigarette stubs are also toxic in nature and can even affect non-smokers.

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the United States found that cigarette butts fill the environment with toxic micro-plastics, emitting harmful amounts of nicotine into the air.

Daily Mail reported that the fumes could continue for almost a week after the cigarette is discarded to the ashtray. It even gives out nearly 15 per cent of the nicotine that a burning cigarette emits.

Researcher Dustin Poppendieck told Daily Mail, that the findings were surprising and meant that if a household did not empty an ashtray for a week, the amount of nicotine exposure to non-smokers could become “double”.

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This revelation is important as many adults think smoking car will protect non-smokers or children, but if the ashtray stays seated in the car with the butts, “exposure is happening”.

The measurements were performed by the NIST under an agreement with the Food and Drug Administration. To conduct the research, eight of the countless chemicals emitted by cigarettes were examined.

Along with this, triacetin, a plasticiser often used to make filters stiff, was also measured.

Filters do not completely cancel out the exposure from inhaling tobacco smoke, but instead provide a sort of handle. The assistance helps cigarette users to avoid burning their lips or fingers, wasting tobacco, or having to pick out stray tobacco from their tongues.

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