Are you thinking of ways to save the planet from plastic while scratching your head and smoking a cigarette? Think again. 

Source: Thrillist

Your one habit may be ruining the planet more than tons of plastic, which also does no good to the planet of course. 

Source: ABC

While plastic items have always posed a threat to nature, a new study from the Anglia Ruskin University reveals a bigger problem to our environment - cigarette butts. 

Source: Hindustan Times

Sadly, the study states that more than 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are discarded each year, making them the leading cause of pollution in the world. 

Source: News Deeply

Apart from being the single largest source of pollution in oceans, cigarette butts also pose a threat to soil & vegetation across the globe. 

It reduces germination success by 27% approximately, reports BBC News

Source: Phys Org

The reason why this happens is because cigarette butts contain a filter, which comprises of cellulose acetate fibre - a type of bioplastic, toxic for soil patterns. 

Source: GC Adventure Gear

Even though seriously harmful for the environment, dropping butts is a socially acceptable norm, which people take very casually, believes the study's lead author, Dr Dannielle Green. 

Dr Green adds: 

Despite being a common sight littering streets and parks worldwide, our study is the first to show the impact of cigarette butts on plants. We found they had a detrimental effect on the germination success and shoot length of both grass and clover, and reduced the root weight of clover by over half.
Source: Chronicle Live

Cigarette filters take years, if not decades, to naturally break down, reveals the study's co-author, Dr. Bas Roots. 

Surely something to ponder for this generation and its smoker population.