Can You Out A Flush Tobacco Down Toilet? (Find Out Now!)

Kerry Souder
by Kerry Souder

The tobacco industry creates a wide range of products that are sold worldwide on a mass scale. Even though they are a common purchase, many people don’t know how best to dispose of them. That’s why we’re here to clear the air.

When disposing of tobacco, you should never flush it down the toilet as it can cause clogs, ruin your septic system, and negatively impact the environment, too. The best way to get rid of tobacco products is to throw them in the trash to mitigate any issues with your plumbing system or negative effects on the planet.

Tobacco products are made to be addictive, which means if you have any in your household, you’re bound to have a lot of it. That’s why it’s all the more important to know how to dispose of them.

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What is Tobacco?

Tobacco is a leafy plant that people smoke, chew, or sniff. People grow, dry, and ferment tobacco before making a wide range of products to sell and ingest. In addition to loose tobacco that people smoke in a pipe or hookah, these different tobacco products include…

  • Smoked: cigarettes, cigars, bidis, and kreteks
  • Chewed: chewing tobacco, snuff, dips, snus
  • Sniffed: snuff

Why You Should Not Flush Tobacco

Regardless of what form it’s in, you should never flush tobacco or tobacco products down the toilet. On top of causing issues with your toilet and plumbing system, improper tobacco disposal can release toxic chemicals back in the environment. Flushing tobacco down the toilet once or twice probably won’t cause any major issues, but it’s better not to risk it, nevertheless.

Toilet Clogs

Things like cigarette butts, chewing tobacco, dip, or anything else of the like can early get caught in your toilet trap or further down in the pipes. Over time, these clogs will continue to build with more debris and cause slower flush times.

Eventually, your toilet won’t be able to flush at all, and if you keep trying to flush, you can cause your system to backup and overflow out of the toilet bowl. That will leave you with a broken toilet, a wet bathroom floor, and potential water damage, too.

Septic System Issues

If you have a septic system, tobacco products can be especially harmful. For starters, these materials will fill up in your septic system much like, baby wipes and tissues, leaving less space for waste. They’re not biodegradable either, so they will stay there. Moreover, tobacco products can throw off the pH balance of your septic tank, which will stop it from functioning at all.

Environmental Impact

Tobacco products are terrible for the environment, especially when they find their way into local water sources and contaminate them. According to the Truth Initiative, cigarettes comprise 30% to 40% of annual coastal and urban cleanups. In 2019 alone, 4,211,962 cigarette butts were collected on beaches and waterways across the globe. And that is just cigarettes.

How to Clear a Tobacco-Clogged Toilet

If you already are dealing with a clog due to tobacco or tobacco products in the toilet drain, don’t worry. Most clogs are easy to dislodge with the tools you have right there in your home. Here’s what you should do if your toilet is clogged.

Plunge the Toilet

The first thing you should try is to use a plunger. Toilet plungers are designed to shoot immense pressure through your plumbing system to clear any blockages. Normally, this will happen within a few minutes if it’s going to work at all. After about 10 minutes max, give up and move on.

Be sure not too plunge too hard and make sure there is enough water in the bowl, too. Otherwise, you might damage the toilet long term and cause bigger—and more expensive—issues for yourself.

Use a Drain Snake

Your next best bet is to use a snake to break up the clog, so it passes all the way through the drain. While this will still allow the tobacco products to sit in the sewer system and potentially pollute water sources, it will get the clog out of your plumbing system and stop it from causing immediate issues.

Proceed with caution when snaking the drain as you can easily scratch the inside of the bowl and damage the pipes.

Pour Drain Cleaner in the Toilet

Enzymatic drain cleaners are usually best for toilet clogs because they are safer to use and won’t damage the pipes. However, you can still use chemical cleaners as a last resort. If you don’t have branded cleaners at the house, you can also pour a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and water down the drain. Here’s the ratio you should use:

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1-gallon hot water

It’s important to make sure the water isn’t boiling when it goes into the toilet bowl. If the water is too hot, it can potentially crack the bowl or ruin the pipes.

Call a Plumber

Whether you’re not confident enough to work on your toilet alone or your at-home fixes haven’t worked, calling in a professional plumber is a fail-safe solution to your toilet problems. A plumber will be able to fix any issues with your toilet without causing any other damages, so you can have peace of mind throughout the entire project.

Related Questions

What are the health effects of smoking tobacco?

Tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. It also is made with other chemicals that can lead to lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, heart disease, strokes, and more. Moreover, smoking tobacco is linked to other cancers, leukemia, pneumonia, Type 2 diabetes, cataracts, and more.

How do you dispose of cigarettes?

In some areas, you can actually send unused cigarettes to cigarette recycling facilities. Some programs can even recycle cigarette butts and filters from used ones. If this is not an option for you, throwing them in the garbage is your next best option, though it is far from a. perfect one.

What can you not flush down the toilet?

Most items cannot go down the toilet, even small ones like coffee grounds, gum, cotton swabs, and hair. However, the most common items that people flush that absolutely should not go down the drain include paper towels, leftover food, used condoms, facial wipes, and Kleenex.

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Final Thoughts on Flushing Tobacco Down the Toilet

That’s easy: Don’t do it!

The only things that really should be going down your toilet is pee, poop, puke, and toilet paper. Anything else can easily clog the pipes, ruin your septic system, and have a negative impact on the environment, too. The best thing to do with your chewing tobacco or associated tobacco products is throw it in the trash. Even though this isn’t a perfect solution, it’s the best one you have.

Kerry Souder
Kerry Souder

I am a copywriter and editor based in the Las Vegas area with nearly a decade of experience under my belt writing landing pages, cost guides, blog posts, newsletters, case studies, and social media content. I have a degree in Strategic Communication and experience working in both the account and creative spheres. My goal is to always be discovering new interests and bettering myself as a writer and editor along the way.

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