I've got nothing against smokers. My motto is do what you want, as long as it doesn't bother me. I take this stand on nearly everything, from hardcore drugs to driving habits. I don't give a hooey what you do, as long as it doesn't interfere with my life.
That's where these damn cigarette butts come in. I haven't met or seen a smoker yet who, after finishing their jimmy, didn't throw the butt on the ground. Everywhere I look, from downtown city streets to farmland, out in the middle of nowhere, one of these pesky butts is staring me in the face. After finishing a Whopper Jr. and chasing it down with a Coke, you wouldn't throw the wrapper and cup on the ground, so why don't you consider cigarette butts to be litter?
To me, these butts fall somewhere between glass bottles and soda cans on the litter scale. Not as bad as glass bottles but not as benign as a soda can. Why is a soda can benign? Because it's much larger than a cigarette but and therefore easier to pick up, and hey, you can get money for it. I've yet to see a broad recycling program for cigarette butts, which is too bad because I could quit my day job.
I know the prime argument is that cigarette butts are burning, and therefore they're not terribly safe to throw in the trash. But hey, you lit the damn thing, didn't you? You have already declared your mastery of fire, so you really have no excuse for not putting it out. Stamp it out and then throw it away. The ground isn't any dirtier than your fingers after sucking all that tar down your throat anyway, so don't worry about cooties.
Finally, I've reserved my final rant for you driving smokers. Cigarette butts go in your ash tray. They do not go out of your window so they can hit my car and get stuck under the winshield wipers. I don't know if you've noticed, but many people on the road are pretty easy to distract, and a glowing ember from your window may be enough for them to break concentration just long enough to hit someone...perhaps even you. And for you good samartians who throw your butts in your ash tray and then, when the ash tray is full, you empty it in the Hardees parking lot, watch out. I may just go beserk and shit on your hood. I guar-un-tee that after a full belly of Hardees that's not something you want.