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Introduction to Environmental Policy

Session 12

Deconstructing Federalism: Case Study Five -

Cigarette Butts and Hazardous Cigarette Waste



EVR 2861 


The assigned reading changes gears in the course to move you beyond policy frameworks to the basics of how the U.S. Federal System is organized and operates. This knowledge is vital since shepherding policy changes through the legislature or congress and on to the state or federal executive requires a familiarity with the system. Likewise, in recent years much environmental policy is decided in the federal court system and their decisions, known as "case law" has exerted a huge influence upon modern U.S. environmental policy.


Novotony, Thomas E; Lum, Kristen; Smith, Elizabeth; Wang, Vivian and Barnes, Richard (2009) "Cigarette Butts and the Case for An Environmental Policy on Hazard Cigarette Waste," International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Vol. 6, p. 1691-1705.

Register, Kathleen M. (2000) "Cigarette Butts as Litter: Toxic As Well As Ugly," "Underwater Naturalist", Bulletin of the American Littoral Society, Volume 25, Number 2, Reprinted in Thalweg (Spring, 2013), Vol. 10, No. 2, p. 2-4.

Video: The Environmental Impact of Cigarette Butts; A Modest Proposal to Get Rid of Cigarette Butt Waste - Thomas Novotny - TED Talks; Cigarette Butt Litter; Do You Like Cigarette Butts? How Bout Trillions of Them?;


  1. Describe the environmental health issues associated with discarded cigarette butts.
  2. Describe the threat of cigarette butts to waterways.
  3. Consider the case study for this session on the problem of cigarette butts as waste. Do so by reading and by viewing the assisigned videos. Then go to the linked Word document entitled "Constitutional Checklist" and follow the instructions on that checklist to complete your constitutional review regarding the case in question by checking pertinent constitutioal elements involved in the case and by providing a narrative discussing those issues.