Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Butt flicking clay

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On a recent trip to a place where a lot of people seem to smoke, I noticed that many of these smokers, when finished with their smoke, hold the cigarette butt between their middle finger and their thumb and flick the butt with their index finger as far as they can, usually over some obstacle like a fence or out a car window or what-have-you.  I don't really know why they do this, but they do.

The observed failure rate of these flickings is fairly high as, usually, the butt doesn't travel very far before wind or air resistance overcomes the lightweight cigarette butt causing it to fall short of the smoker's intended target.

Butt flicking clay, then, adds substantial mass to cigarette butts allowing them to be flicked far greater distances and with significantly greater accuracy.  Each package of cigarettes includes 8 or 10 high-density butt flicking clay strips that the smoker can wrap about the cigarette butt prior to flicking.  Additional premium grade strips can be sold separately for those who want a strip for each butt.

bristolz, Aug 20 2002

conceptual drawing http://bz.pair.com/fun/bfc.html
Another idle doodling of a bored office worker. (25Kb image) [bristolz, Aug 20 2002]

Tissue disposal http://www.halfbake...enic_20tissue_20box
Socially acceptable disposal of soiled paper tissues. [8th of 7, Aug 23 2002]

[link]






       Sorry bristolz, I really like your drawing but I absolutely have to fishbone this one. Quite apart from my intense dislike of smoking, flicking cigarette butts is littering. These butts are not very biodegradeable and look nasty lurking around the place.   

       Also, cigarette butts flicked out of car windows are one of the biggest causes of bush fires in Australia. I don't want to encourage people to do this.
madradish, Aug 20 2002
  

       cigarette butts carelessly flicked have landed in babies prams.
po, Aug 20 2002
  

       Surely a safer way to dispose of the butts would be to push them hot end first up the smoker's nostrils, then seal it in with some of the clay ? When both nostrils are filled, the ears could be used.
8th of 7, Aug 20 2002
  

       i'm with you on that one, blissy...   

       flicked butts are also a source of car fires - the driver thinks he is getting rid of his butt while flying down the highway, but it lands in the back seat and the next thing he knows, he's got a carbeque.   

       smokers should be forced to smoke the entire cigarette, so that there is nothing left but the foul stench.
mihali, Aug 20 2002
  

       UnaBubba: I second that. What a wonderful term for a burning car.
8th of 7, Aug 20 2002
  

       [Equates cigarette butt flicking akin to spitting out chewing gum, if less damaging to the urban environment on a long-term basis.]
DrCurry, Aug 20 2002
  

       mihali: Nicometeor- burns up on reentry...   

       Acetone dissolves acetate cigarette filters. If you want to lash out at smokers, pour some nail polish remover into their ashtray and watch them scrape the gunk off the bottom.
Mr Burns, Aug 20 2002
  

       Can the clay be poisonous? Oh sorry, the cigarettes already are. (Then again, maybe it *has* to be poisonous to be included into the product).
RayfordSteele, Aug 20 2002
  

       Hmmm.  Interesting.  I thought you all would focus on the idea, the clay part, rather than the smoking part.  At least I had hoped you would.  I think that this idea is probably the most plausible of all my ideas and the most likely to perform perfectly as designed.  Also, it seems to me that delivering higher accuracy to the butt flicker would reduce the instance of fires.   

       [po], would a smoker who made the effort to use the butt flicking clay still be a careless flicker?
bristolz, Aug 20 2002
  

       If you added some corrosive agent to the clay to dissolve the filter (which currently seems to have a lifespan second only to nuclear waste, and equally popular) then you'll get my croissant. If you can encourage smokers to hasten the clean up of butts by making it a sort of game to set them on their way all the better. The chemistry of how this could be done I don't know. Any ideas?

Alternatively, for the city smoker add some sort of malleable Ferris compound, fit HUGE electromagnets at ever street corner. Now when the smoker carelessly flicks his butt away, it could be gathered up and the street would be much cleaner.

Possible upside: Bound to make the use of mobile phones difficult, potential for free MRI scan for all that want it, entertaining.
Possible downsides: Bound to make the use of mobile phones difficult, will probably make the city streets a haze of small flying metal coated cigarette butts.

Hmm, I better think about that one some more.
namaste, Aug 20 2002
  

       This is a bit of a whacky idea, but .... well, how about fitting a small container, made of non flammable material, actually INSIDE the vehicle, so that the smoker could keep the windows closed and just sit there, marinating in all those lovely, flavoursome toxic combustion products ? No need to open a window and waste any of it .... Even better, why not pipe the engine exhaust straight back into the passenger compartment, for even more oxides of nitrogen, sulphur compounds, volatile hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide ? Surely, every smoker's dream .... The little container could be used to collect not only used filters, but also the solid waste prodced during smoking. May be it could be called a "Dust can" or something ?   

       OK, now tell me it's a stupid idea.
8th of 7, Aug 20 2002
  

       Without getting in to the attitudes of those who engage in the aforementioned butt flicking practice, the proposed idea probably would be effective. However, from a purely practical standpoint (hey, I gotta be me) I'd think that a careless person would not bother to wrap the clay around the butt. (With any luck, they'd save it up and make an ashtray.) However, increasing the mass of the butt/filter in a manner that doesn't require "user intervention" would probably accomplish the stated goal of improved accuracy and distance.   

       Oh, and how about photodegradable filters?
half, Aug 20 2002
  

       I just like the look of my own type...
ImBack, Aug 20 2002
  

       Why does everyone assume the flick-er is trying to litter? Perhaps, with the addition of flick-clay, the flick-er will land the flick-ee in the ashcan....
phoenix, Aug 20 2002
  

       most flickers are stereo-type macho "am-I-not-ever-so-laid-back" twits. hardly likely to take part in anything involving competition or precision.
po, Aug 20 2002
  

       But this isn't about the flickers, this is about the . . . oh forget it.
bristolz, Aug 20 2002
  

       fancy a trip to the flicks with me, bris? girls night out - have so much gossip you would not believe.
po, Aug 20 2002
  

       Oh, bris. If a smoker won't bother to do something more responsible with their butts than flick them, why would they bother wrapping the butts in anything before they flick? Also, why add to the litter already being produced, by first surrounding the butts with something less biodegradable than the butts themselves.   

       It would be better to get the butts wet first, then flick, as water would add weight, douse the butt, and speed decomposition.   

       <rant> What's with people who empty their car ashtrays into the street or parking lots? What's the point of using the ashtray if you don't dump the stuff in the trash? </rant>
XSarenkaX, Aug 21 2002
  

       [XSarenkaX], I'm not sure how drastically water would speed the decomposition of a filtered type cigarette butt. (I also don't agree that clay is non-biodegradable. All the clay that I ever dug out of the ground seemed pretty well "biodegraded" to me.)   

       I do agree that clay may not be the thing, but using water might be missing the point of the convenience of packaging the clay with the cigarettes. Unless of course you mean that the water would be included in the cigarette pack to assure availability. People buy water in all other forms these days, why not "butt flicking water".   

       And I second your ashtray rant.
half, Aug 21 2002
  

       I said clay is *less* biodegradable, not non-biodegradable. I only say it because it adds mass to the litter. At least getting the paper part of the butts wet helps break them up a little.   

       By the way, moisture is usually readily available to smokers in the form of spit. (Oh wait, does smoking like a chimney cause dry-mouth?) Yeah, it's kinda gross, but so is inhaling tar and whatnot into your lungs. Besides, the bacteria in saliva might help speed up the decomposing process just a bit.
XSarenkaX, Aug 21 2002
  

       Mix plant seeds in with the butt flicking clay so that smokers can counteract the effects of the littering with all the new flowers, bushes, and trees that spring up everywhere they smoke!
cminnick, Aug 21 2002
  

       <rant>Filters on cigarettes? What's the point in that, then? Why bother smoking if you're going to *filter* out all the yummy stuff? Madness, I say. Sheer madness. No, I'll stick to my roll-ups, thank you very much. Paper and tobacco biodegrades quite nicely, I should think - certainly better than the sweety wrappers and crisp pokes discarded by all those damned snackers with their comfort food and obesity problems... eating fast food in public... eeuch... should be banned... sweaty, smelly people. Give 'em liposuction with a kitchen knife and a vacuum cleaner, I say. Etc., etc., etc., ad nauseaum.</rant>   

       Ahem.   

       As a self-confessed smoker and flicker (not much chance of forest fires in Glasgow), I can't say that I've ever had any problems with air resistance and suchlike. Perhaps that's just because roll-up butts are more aerodynamic or something.   

       Anyhoo, I'm tempted to croissant just to spite the spiteful. (Hot butt ends up our asses, eh? Poisonous clay, eh? Gas us with exhaust fumes, eh? No, not *cruel and unusual* at all. Not to mention irrelevant to the actual idea.) However, since most smokers do - for some strange reason - smoke those pre-rolled, filter-tip, salt-peter-spiked, chemical-sticks, I'd have to concur that this will just result in more non-biodegradeable littering. And then smokers would be just as bad as the chocolate-mouthed, orally-fixated, wobble-thighed autoconsumerist lardasses that spread their plastic trash on every street in every city in the world. And we wouldn't want that.
Guy Fox, Aug 21 2002
  

       A driver with the dexterity to single-handedly roll a strip about the butt end of a (snipe comes to mind here), should have the requisite skill to shove the butt back into the pack and back into the pants without losing control in traffic. Can we talk?
reensure, Aug 22 2002
  

       Talk about what?
bristolz, Aug 23 2002
  

       But sure! I favor the clay, over gum that is. I mean, clay will stick under the dash as easily.
reensure, Aug 23 2002
  

       Oh, I knew.
bristolz, Aug 23 2002
  

       ?
bristolz, Aug 23 2002
  

       I dunno. She has that odd gleam in her eye.
DrCurry, Aug 23 2002
  

       As a former smoker, I have to applaud B's desire to give tokers something useful to do with their middle fingers after the cancer-stick has been consumed, even though I hate the fact that she went for the "add-on" sale... only 8 to 10 weighted clay strips, instead of the requisite 20, for each pack sold.   

       On the other hand, though, I would have thought that a small silicon-sand cache at the bottom of each cigarette pack would have an equal usefullness in deterrring random fires, would contribute approximately the same package weight, would be easier to manufacture and package, and would still give iconoclasts and independent thinkers something of suitable heft to flick or throw at portraits of despots and other unpopular images.
jurist, Aug 23 2002
  

       Wow, [jurist] came out of his acorn to chastise me for this one.  Good grief.
bristolz, Aug 23 2002
  

       Trying to drag people back on topic just for a moment, rather than discard the butts, why not have somewhere you can put them back in the packet ? It's a bit like my "tissue disposer" idea (see link). A little void in the base of the cigarette carton where you can dispose of the used filters - then bin the whole empty pack. As to the ash from the cigarette, on reflection I don't have too much of an issue with that, as (apart from the foul smell) it's just burnt plant material and (I assume) fairly benign - all the bad stuff is inside the smoker .....
8th of 7, Aug 23 2002
  

       These could be turned into a semi-ballistic weapon of grass destruction if they fell into the wrong hands.   

       Better solution: make them really sticky so that they're extremely difficult to flick. And make 'em lightweight, too, so they'll blow right back at the flicker.
polartomato, Aug 23 2002
  

       I'm with [8th of 7], but don't butts stink? I'm not sure how smokers feel about the smell of the butts, but if they're flicking them away, chances are they don't want to hang on to them for any length of time. If the packs' butt compartment was sealed tight and fire-proof, I think it might fly.
XSarenkaX, Aug 23 2002
  

       Maybe if each pack had only one filter, like a cigarette holder, there'd be less to flick and litter with.
FarmerJohn, Aug 23 2002
  

       This idea is an anagram of "Catty flub licking".
hippo, Aug 23 2002
  

       //This idea is an anagram of "Catty flub licking".// Just trying to drag people back off topic? <g>
half, Aug 23 2002
  
      
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