Students "kick butts" to reduce cigarette litter - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Students "kick butts" to reduce cigarette litter

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Students from the Mayor's Youth Commission spent some time Wednesday picking up cigarette butts around Sioux City. Students from the Mayor's Youth Commission spent some time Wednesday picking up cigarette butts around Sioux City.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) - Cigarette butts line the parking lots and shelters at Riverside Park.

"The point of today was to actually see how many people smoke and what they do," said West junior Seth Raders.

So what do they do?

"They throw it on the ground, which doesn't help the earth," added Raders.

That's why these students from the Mayor's Youth Commission were kicking butts - cigarette butts, that is - at three locations throughout Sioux City Wednesday.

"We found a lot around the parking lot, and especially around the park edges," said Heelan freshman Allie Cooke.

Those cigarette butts came off the ground and were disposed of - but not before showing the students the amount of smoking that takes place in town.

"It was a huge surprise. I thought we would only end up having around 100. But we ended up having a little over 300," said Heelan freshman Olivia Hartnett.

And that was just at Riverside Park. In total, over 1,700 cigarette butts were collected at the three sites, which included the Southern Hills Mall and the Promenade Theatre.

"1,700 is a ton of cigarette butts, and that's only in an hour. I definitely want to go tell people to stop," added Hartnett.

The students picking up cigarettes are hoping that this event will not only be about kicking butts, but also about kicking the habit.

"I don't think smoking is good at all. It hurts your lungs and it's nothing but bad," said Cooke.

"Smoking is not going to help your health at all. It's going to bring it down," added Raders. "Bringing out here to show how many people actually smoke might bring awareness to other people or the younger generation."

And that could be the answer to a cleaner, healthier Sioux City.

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