A group of state lawmakers want New York to outlaw the sale of single-use filters, citing environmental concerns.
The measure, called the Tobacco Product Waste Reduction Act, would also prohibit the sale of cigarettes with attachable single-use filters and single-use electronic cigarettes.
The lawmakers contend that filters do not make cigarettes any safer and damage the environment. They noted that single-use e-cigarettes contain lithium-ion batteries and dangerous liquid nicotine.
State officials said studies have shown that cigarette butts are the most collected item internationally in beach and waterway cleanup programs, with estimates that 845,000 tons of cigarette butts end up as litter annually worldwide.
Nearly all cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate, which is not biodegradable.
The single-use items would still be legal to smoke in New York but illegal to sell. Unfiltered cigarettes or roll-your-own unfiltered smokes could still be purchased.
If enacted, the measure would take effect Jan. 1, 2022.