In the last week, government agencies in two countries – the Netherlands and Belgium – have recommended a complete ban on the sale of cigarette filters.

First, congratulations to our colleagues for their work in pushing this and supplying research. This could not have happened in a vacuum.

Second, congratulations to all of us for these concrete steps to save our planet and our health.

Here’s why we need to ban cigarette filters:

  • Cigarette filters are useless; they do nothing to lessen the damage from smoking. In fact, some research shows it makes things worse. They are yet another fraud perpetrated by the tobacco industry.
  • Cigarette filters are plastic.
  • Cigarette filters are not biodegradable. They break down into micro-plastics, with huge health implications for animals and humans.
  • Cigarette filters are toxic. They are full of toxins, carcinogens and heavy metals.
  • Cigarette filters are a huge source of plastic pollution. Roughly 4.5 trillion are discarded annually.
  • Cigarette filters are single-use and cannot be practically recycled.
  • Making filters out of organic materials only addresses one of these problems.

ASH and our partners will continue to press for cigarette filter bans at the local, national and global levels. Learn more here and get involved>

In our collective fight to save lives and the planet, banning cigarette filters is a no-brainer.