Three communities in the NEK will be holding Cigarette Butt Cleanup Days hosted by Umbrella’s Social Change Program in Newport and the Northeast Kingdom Waste Management District (NEKWMD) throughout the month of May.

Island Pond: Look for a NEKWMD Table downtown, May 1st 9am-noon.

Newport: Meet at Gardner Park at 10 am, May 15th 10am-noon.

Derby/Derby Line: Meet at Derby Town Office at 10am, May 22nd 10am-noon.

 It’s well known that tobacco use (smoking, chew, etc.) is detrimental to our health and the health of others around us, via secondhand smoke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the US and is known to increase risks associated with COVID-19. Cigarettes and E-cigarette products contain toxic chemicals, residual nicotine, heavy metals as well as plastic waste. These disposable products then get dropped on sidewalks, streets, public places which eventually are carried by runoff and polluting waterways. Cigarette waste is among the most common forms of litter in the United States. According to the Truth Initiative, “An estimated 766,571 metric tons of cigarette butts make their way into the environment every year.” Look down, they’re ubiquitous. On sidewalks, outside of stores and other public spaces. Collected butt debris will be collected, counted and properly disposed of in collaboration with the NEK Waste Management.

These products are also known triggers for people seeking to quit tobacco for good. Adults seeking to quit tobacco and vaping for good can access free Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) from 802 Quits along with support through an 802 Quit Provider, Hotline or the website. There are also special financial incentives available for certain populations.

Want to get involved? Join us at the dates, times and locations above. Masks will be required for participants as a well as maintaining a 6 ft social distance. Organizers will have gloves, bags, extra masks, and some trash pickers available along with some fun swag to take home. Additional information can be found on Umbrella’s Facebook page or by calling during office hours, 802-334-0418.

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