Business owners battle cigarette butts following smoking ban

By Tim Pulliam - email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Area businesses say cigarette butts have become a big problem since a smoking ban passed in Columbia two years ago.

To help combat the butts, business owners are helping by ordering cigarette receptacles. Some have already been ordered in the Vista and may end up in places like Five Points.

Kelly Tabor owns Good for the Soul Shoes in Five Points, and says he's tired of picking up butts on the sidewalk in front of his shoe store.

"It just clutters up everything," said Tabor. "It makes the city look dirty."

Tabor just ordered a cigarette receptacle.  "Oh I think it's going to be fantastic," he said. "I'm hoping people will use them."

On candid camera Thursday night, we found some people who put their butts in the proper place and some who didn't.

Tabor believes if more businesses in Five Points buy receptacles, people will do the right thing.

"They're not gonna go out of their way to put it in, but if its right there they definitely would use it," said Vista visitor Jim Johnson.

"Realistically, people are still gonna just throw cigarette butts out the window," said Tanisha Favor. "It's a sad thing."

It's a simple disregard Tabor hopes he can help nip in the bud.

"That cigarette butts' gonna be here for years," said Tabor. "It'll eventually make it's way in to the streams and rivers and it's a source of pollution. They need to think twice about tossing it or throwing it down on the ground."

So far only Tabor and Group Therapy have purchased a receptacle.

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