Cigarette butts in two urban areas from Brazil: Links among environmental impacts, demography and market

Victor Vasques Ribeiro, Thaís Cândido Lopes, Mariana Amaral dos Santos Pinto, Alain Alves Póvoa, Victor Rocha Corrêa, Gabriel Enrique De-la-Torre, Sina Dobaradaran, Dannielle Senga Green, André Salem Szklo, Ítalo Braga Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Environmental impacts are currently linked to smoking cigarette behavior, as cigarette butts (CBs) represent the most common litter item in natural areas. Despite this, even the best ranked Brazilian cities, in terms of urban cleaning, have no information about urban littered CBs. Thus, CBs were monitored in Santos and Niterói cities, aiming to assess contamination, Cigarette Butt Pollution Index (CBPI) and the illegal market size. CBs were collected in 36 walkways considering different land usage types and urban density levels. The CBPI was calculated, and brands were used to identify the size of the illegal market. CBs contamination in Santos (0.25 CBs/m2) was three times higher than Niterói (0.08 CBs/m2) and their occurrence and distribution presented no relationship with land usage types and urban population densities levels. CBPI = 17.6 was severe and the highest so far reported. A total of 28 cigarette brands were found both studied cities. Further, illegal cigarette consumption in Santos and Niteroi was estimated, based on brands of collected CBs, at 25.2% and 36.8%, respectively. Such data may be valuable for implementation of logistic reverse actions seeking to environmentally sustainable and socially resilient cities. Cigarette consumption threatens human life and the environment, and tobacco companies should be accountable for the pollution they generate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113730
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Cigarette smoking
  • Land usage
  • Litter
  • Smuggling


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