CNM students collect cigarette butts and begin raffle

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A Central New Mexico Community College Instructor had a class of 39 students go outside and collect cigarette butts as part of a class project. Now those butts are being used in a raffle.

Amy Tixier teaches first and second year respiratory students, and she said she’s never done anything quite like this.

“I was afraid they were going to think it’s kind of gross to pick up cigarette butts,” she said. “I wasn’t sure how they were going to perceive this task.”

The students didn’t think it was necessarily gross, but they didn’t know what to expect.

“I didn’t have any idea what kind of number we would come up with, but I wasn’t shocked with how many we found,” student Jimmy Pinner said.

The class even had rules to follow.

“They were not allowed to go in any designated smoking areas,” Tixier said. “Non-designated smoking areas only and only on the main campus.”

Students had one hour to complete the task. When they finished Tixier was shocked with the results.

“Literally thousands and we were only out there for an hour,” she said.

But students weren’t done there. They wanted to step it up a notch. They placed the cigarette butts into containers and put them on display for the entire college to see.

“It really showed that we have an issue with smoking here on campus, when we’re supposed to be smoke free,” Tixier said.

CNM considers itself smoke-free. However, it has 10 designated smoking areas scattered across the main campus.

Now the class is inviting everyone to take part in the raffle. A person can pay $1 and take a stab at the number of all the cigarette butts the class collected. The person who comes closest will win a $100 Visa gift card.

All of the money from the raffle will be donated to the American Lung Association. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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