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Smokers’ Campaign: Finding a Home for Ciggy Butts Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 12th, 2020

Project Overview

Few campaigns touch on the rising need to properly get rid of cigarette butts. As a result, most smokers do so in a casual manner that often results in environmental pollution (Lee, Ranney & Goldstein 2013). The proposed campaign will educate smokers on the hazards of disposing of cigarette butts carelessly.

Background Research

Indiscriminate Disposal of Cigarette Butts as a Social Problem

A social problem is one that affects the peaceful interaction and existence of people in society. Careless disposal of cigarette butts is an example of such a problem (King 2011). The practice affects the smoker and other members of society. It is a common practice among smokers to dispose of butts in a haphazard manner. The butts litter roads and parks. The view of such sites is degraded. Butts that are not properly put out also continue to emit fumes that may ruin the comfort of others. In addition, forest fires that are caused by careless cigarette smokers cause environmental pollution.

Addressing the Problem

Little has been done to address the problem (Riutta 2008). Current efforts are in the second stage of social innovation, proposals, and generation of ideas. The prompt stage has been completed since the crisis has been identified. The need for new social innovation has been discussed. An idea to deal with the problem was generated following the proposal to use television advertisements and Facebook to increase awareness about the harmful effects of careless disposal of cigarette butts. However, the idea has not yet been tested.

Critical Factors

There are three critical factors to take into consideration when implementing the ideas proposed in social innovation. They include conditions, causes, and attitudes. Condition refers to the way something exists. When carrying out the campaign, it is important to know what the situation on the ground is to be able to address the root cause of the problem facing the population (Barnes 2011). Causes of the problem also need to be evaluated. In this case, one should highlight some of the reasons why the problem has occurred. People’s attitudes towards the problem are also important.

Alternative Solutions

There are several approaches that can be used to solve the problem at hand. Due to public demand, cigarette companies have resorted to the manufacture of biodegradable butts (Riutta 2008). As a result, littering is avoided. The move is the first alternative solution. Many governments have banned smoking in public places to reduce pollution. Some states, such as San Diego and Chicago, have already put the policy in place (Barnes 2011). In light of this, legislations can also be used to deal with the problem.

Another viable solution entails banning the production of disposable filters. As a result, cigarette smokers will be required to recycle the material to reduce wastage (Barnes 2011). Educating smokers on the negative effects of casual disposal of butts through television and social media campaigns is another alternative solution. Facebook and Twitter can be used due to their popularity.

The Viable Approach

The most appropriate strategy involves educating smokers on the negative effects of this practice. Such education can be conducted through television advertisements and social media. Facebook and Twitter will be used to achieve this objective. The two platforms will be used to run a competition where people will design portable ashtrays to curb careless disposal of the butts. Unlike the other alternatives, the strategy engages the smokers who are the major cause of the menace (Hansen 2011).

Social Innovation

Unlike other approaches, the proposed solution is a form of social innovation. It does not generate profits for the innovator. On the contrary, it seeks to find a lasting solution to a social problem. The innovation also originates from a concerned member of society. Community members are also involved in addressing a matter that concerns them. The community does not rely on help from external sources, such as the government (Li 2012).


Listening to Hubs

The campaign will involve five important hubs. They include the campaigner, television stations, social media companies, smokers, and the government. The campaigner is the most important element. They are the originator of the ideas and strategies to be used. They will establish links with smokers via social media. Communication of the intended message to the target group (the smokers) will be through television (Hansen 2011). The campaigner will also establish blogs where they will be the figure of authority.

Television stations serve as an important tool for the dissemination of information. They link the campaigner to the target population (Li 2012). Most of the television outlets have their own blogs. They also subscribe to social sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. They interact with viewers through these channels.

Social media companies, including Twitter and Facebook, will also be important hubs in the campaign. They provide a platform on which the competition involving ashtrays will be held. They will connect the campaigner with the designers. The companies are ranked as important authorities in blogging activities. Smokers, the target population, are other significant elements. Their activities necessitated the launch of the campaign. They are closely associated with cigarette manufacturers, television stations, and the government. They also use the services of social media companies (Mathos & Norman, 2012). They act as followers and page viewers. The government plays an oversight role in the campaign. It is linked to all the other important hubs. It plays the role of authority in the blogging process.

Listening to Content

The success of the campaign depends on the ability of the media used to generate the content of the desired quality. Dissemination of the resulting content is also important (Hansen 2011). It is important to use repeating content, especially in television advertisements. In this case, the campaign will place emphasis on the need to dispose of cigarette butts in a responsible manner through the use of ashtrays.

The potential hazards of casual disposal of butts will be highlighted. With regards to social media, a number of hashtags will be used on Twitter. Some of them include:

#home for ciggy butts

#designing a home for ciggy butts, and

#ashtray design competition

The campaign will also earn a spot in the ‘trending topics’ slot in social media. ‘Hot’ topics on these sites will involve competition for the ‘five best ashtray designer’ spots.

Home for Cigar Butts Campaign: Strategy

Formulating the Strategy

The campaign aims at using television advertisements to educate smokers on potential hazards of disposing of cigarette butts in a casual manner. It will introduce portable ashtrays through competitions held on Facebook and Twitter. Smokers will be the main target group. Television advertisements will enlighten this cohort on the advantages of disposing of butts in a safe way (King 2011).

The campaign will also target non-smokers hoping that they will influence the way their smoking colleagues handle butts after smoking (Riutta 2008). The social media competition targets the entire community. The move will enhance the social element of the strategy used to deal with the cigarette problem. The solution will depend on the strategy’s ability to influence the behaviour of smokers.

Today, there are over 1.3 billion smokers in the world (Lee et al. 2013). About 1 billion of them are from developing nations. It is noted that 20% of smokers are aged between 13 and 15 years (Lee et al. 2013). They cannot dispose of the butts in the right manner without portable ashtrays. As a result, the two processes should take place simultaneously. Efforts to educate smokers should go together with the introduction of portable ashtrays.

The Use of Additional Social Media

A blog is needed to enhance the success of the campaign. A Facebook page and Twitter account will also be used. However, these outlets are not sufficient. As such, print media will be used. Newspaper advertisements will be utilised to promote the campaign. It is important to note that not all people have access to the internet (Li, 2012). As a result, the use of social media alone has limitations. Other platforms, such as billboards, will be used to advertise the competition and the campaign itself.

Message Strategy

The campaign is dubbed finding a home for ciggy butts. The term ‘ciggy’ stands for cigars and cigarettes. The youth, who are the main users of tobacco products, are likely to own the name readily. The ashtrays will serve as the home for the ciggy butts (King 2011).

The Role of the Campaigner

The campaigner, who is also a blogger, will play the role of an instigator. The strategy is a social innovation aimed at educating smokers and designing portable ashtrays to reduce cases of casual disposal of ciggy butts. As a result, the campaign is a sustainable social movement.


Television advertisements and social media competitions are regarded as possible solutions to the problem of careless disposal of cigarette butts. The advertisements will be used to educate smokers. On the other hand, competitions on social media will be used to generate portable ashtray designs. The platforms to be used include Facebook and Twitter.


Barnes, R 2011, ‘Regulating the disposal of cigarette butts as toxic hazardous waste’, Tobacco Control, vol. 20 no. 1, pp. 45-48.

Hansen, A 2011, ‘Communication, media and environment: towards reconnecting research on the production, content and social implications of environmental communication’, International Communication Gazette, vol. 73 no. 2, pp. 7-25.

King, A 2011, ‘Research advances: addressing the environmental fates of everyday products from cigarette butts to shampoos and cleaning agents’, Journal of Chemical Education, vol. 88 no. 1, p. 8.

Lee, J, Ranney, L & Goldstein, A 2013, ‘Cigarette butts near building entrances: what is the impact of smoke-free college campus policies?’, Tobacco Control, vol. 22 no. 2, pp. 107-112.

Li, X 2012, ‘Content-based visual search learned from social media’, ACM SIG Multimedia Records, vol. 4 no. 1, p. 31.

Mathos, M & Norman, C 2012, 101 social media tactics for nonprofits: a field guide, Wiley, Hoboken.

Riutta, A 2008, Cigarette butts and lilacs: tokens of a heritage, Modern English Tanka Press, Baltimore.

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