Prague is launching a campaign to keep its streets free of cigarette butts.
The effort is called Chceme čisté město (We want a clean city) and is an effort to stifle any potential increase in litter around the city that may be caused by the new smoking ban.
The campaign is being set in motion alongside the new anti-smoking law, officially instated on Wednesday, May 31. The law bans smoking cigarettes in enclosed areas of restaurants and bars. The campaign is being correlated with the anti-smoking legislation due to the concern that people will throw their cigarettes on the ground when they have to go outside to smoke. Prague City Hall and Prague 1 are working together on the campaign.
In order to educate smokers, fliers are being handed out, primarily in the Old Town Square area. They are focusing on the Old Town area due to its concentration of bars and restaurants. The fliers will be in both English and Czech and will include information on the impact of littering cigarette butts, as well as the fine for doing so. The fine can be up to five thousand crowns. Alongside fliers, they will hand out free, mobile ashtrays to encourage responsible disposal of cigarette waste.
Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world. Roughly 4.5 trillion cigarettes are tossed each year, according to the Sierra Club.
The reaction is likely warranted, cigarette litter in both Paris and London increased after they issued similar smoking bans. Comparable initiatives have been taken elsewhere to curb litter. London provides free mobile ashtrays, yet still considers cigarette litter an issue, according to the city’s website.
Smoking is also banned on public transportation platforms.
In the Czech Republic 37.4% of people above the age of 15 are smokers, according to the World Health Organization. 23.5% of men in the Czech Republic have died due to tobacco related issues since 2010, compared to 9.9% of women, according to the Tobacco Atlas. You can learn more about smoking-related issues in the Czech Republic here.