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Cigarette Producer Responsibility Project

Institution: Cigarette Butt Pollution Project
Investigator(s): Thomas Novotny, M.D., MPH
Award Cycle: 2012 (Cycle 21) Grant #: 21XT-0030H Award: $229,875
Subject Area: Regulatory Science/New Products
Award Type: Exploratory/Developmental Award

Initial Award Abstract

This Exploratory/Developmental Research Project seeks to establish a policy link between cigarette butt pollution of the environment and the environmental principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). In the long run, such a principle, applied to tobacco products, will open new channels for policy research by linking tobacco use to environmental degradation, encouraging regulatory interventions through environmental law, and holding the tobacco industry responsible for resulting harms and requisite waste cleanup cost-recovery and other solutions. To accomplish this goal, the Cigarette Butt Pollution Project will commission a series of policy, legal and legislative analyses to determine if and how Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) may be applied to the tobacco industry regarding the environmental impact of tobacco product waste. It will convene two expert group meetings to discuss the findings of the commissioned papers regarding industry liability, litter fees and potential litigation to recover costs; possible take-back options for butt waste; regulatory and retail-based interventions for butt waste prevention; tobacco industry response to butt waste, including the influence of the industry with environmental, educational, and social networks; tobacco marketing regulations that may be implemented at the State level to change the product so that it is less of an environmental pollutant. CBPP will publish and present final reports on the above EPR-related areas of research and findings regarding butt waste elimination in public health, environmental and waste management journals and meetings.