A cigarette butt is what remains of a tobacco product after its use. It is important to note that when talking about filters (understood as waste) of tobacco products, reference is not only made to filters for traditional cigarettes and cigarillos, but also to filters for fine-cut and heated tobacco.
In the case of combusted tobacco, each butt consists of the filter, made in turn of cellulose acetate – which filters out the substances produced (residues, nicotine, carbon monoxide) and helps the smoker to hold and put out the cigarette – and also of paper, unburned tobacco, ash and other combustion by-products.
In the case of heated tobacco, stick filters are made of bioplastics (cellulose acetate and/or polylactic acid) with the function of lowering the temperature of the vapour, so as to make it suitable for inhalation. As there is no combustion, there is no ash or other smoke residues.
Both types of filters, those used in combusted tobacco products and those in heated tobacco products which if not disposed of properly, could cause considerable environmental damage.