(WBNG) -- New York lawmakers are pushing to ban single-use filters found in most cigarettes with the "Tobacco Product Waste Reduction Act."
The Broome County Health Department says the single-use filters in cigarettes and e-cigarettes has been causing more harm than good when it comes to your personal health and the environment.
"Cigarette butts are the number one form of litter in the world," said Broome County Public Health Educator, Laura Kelly. "The more they stay in our environment, the more they are leaching toxic chemicals into our waterways and our air."
Kelly says, depending on the environment, cigarette butts can take 18 months to 10 years to decompose and it does more harm to people's lungs than how it was marketed toward smokers.
"The Surgeon General report actually suggested that single-use filters have actually caused more damage to cigarette users because these filters give the user the ability to breathe more heavily in, and internally, they're getting those toxins deeper into their lungs," said Kelly.
While New York State waits to see what happens with this proposal, the Broome County Health Department says it offers free signage for Broome or Tioga County municipalities and businesses to make it a tobacco-free zone.
If the act were to be passed, it would prohibit the sale of cigarettes and e-cigarettes with the single-use filters.