Spit is litter


spitimages I have read news articles of councils in the UK applying for anti-spitting laws in order to put a ban on spitting in public with an attached consequence/fine for non-compliance. Usually, littering the streets with plastic cans or bags and the likes is frowned upon by environmentalists and most governments and there is an accompanying penalty if one is caught littering. The arguments by the anti-public-spitting advocates is that the same logic for littering should be applied to spitting. There is a record of this being done where two young men were prosecuted for spitting using anti-litter laws in Waltham Forest United kingdom, the first of many prosecutions to come.

The justification for using anti-litter laws is that, it is an offense for a person to drop litter on the floor and not pick it up which is also the case for spit. There are however other reasons why spiting is frowned upon which mainly revolve around it being perceived as an anti-social behavior. Spitting is rude, unsightly and non sanitary thereby posing a threat to public health.

Some people argue about whether it really is a public health issue and about the evidence available to support this claim however, in the days where tuberculosis was a big issue, spitting in public was frowned upon and public health campaigns discouraged this habit. While most western countries have been able to control the prevalence and spread of tuberculosis, tuberculosis is making a come back as there is reportedly an increasing incidence of tuberculosis in some countries like United Kingdom.

But in West Africa with specific reference to Nigeria, we have not quite brought the spread of tuberculosis under control. However, tuberculosis is not the only disease that could be spread through contact with saliva of an infected person. There are the likes of hepatitis, viral meningitis, influenza, etc. to contend with, not to talk of the most recent epidemic of Ebola Virus Disease that governments and international organisations are trying to bring under control.

The common picture is one of people steeping on spit on the road and then going to their homes with the same shoes where they will have to sometimes touch the sole of the shoes while removing them, and then the children if any in the home will play on the ground on which someone with their gob contaminated shoes has stepped on and the scenarios could just go on.

There is however one scenario that is mostly unanticipated but happened very recently to me while I was peacefully going about my business…a young man who was kinda walking in front of me decided to spit into the environment and the wind helped a few drops of the spit to head my way and land on my foot…ewww, yuck, disgusting…I know!!!

Keeping the diseases within you just there (within) is not too much to ask besides the fact that it is just plain bad manners!!!

While this country is still a far ways from making spitting in public a crime or using anti-litter laws to prosecute people who spit in public, there are laws against littering. We can however, frown at this behavior and chastise people we see indulging thereby shaming them into proper conduct.
I think that common sense and consideration for your fellow humans which stems from a place of strong and positive morals should deter us from indulging in this very antisocial, unpleasant, unnecessary mannerism.

I admit there are times where you just have to get rid of that saliva or phlegm as the case may be. May I advise that you look for somewhere appropriate like a gutter or tissue to dispose of your waste same way you would dispose of dirt in bins.