A perfect way to put out and store cigarette butts on board - if you're so inclined

I had no idea what this little empty packet was when I found it at a press centre in France recently. I read the instructions on the back to find out that it’s a pocket in which to stash away your lighted cigarette butts.

This is obviously a great idea for sailing, or skiing for that matter.

Smokers on board can be a bit of pain anyway. Sorry if you are one, but enthusiasts can be a peril – I’ve had hot ash in the eye from people smoking on the windward rail – and cigarette ends are rarely disposed of carefully on board.

I notice habits are beginning to change but I still see most smokers flicking butts overboard when they’re finished, oblivious to the fact that filters are toxic to some marine life and can take years to degrade.

Then again, if you are a smoker what do you do with the still-lit butt if you’re on deck and unable to get below right away?

Some sailors I can think of, and a few skiers who like to puff away the journey on the chair lift, take a small tin with them so they can stub them out and store the butts in those.

One old-school yachtsman I know used to wear trousers with turn-ups so that, when extinguished, a number of old butts could be stowed in the folds until later. I wonder how effective that was when it was breezy.

This BIC pouch seems like a good idea. It’s plastic and is sort of semi-inflated, with a waterproof, airtight opening. The instructions say you can put a lit cigarette inside and close over popper fastened lid to extinguish, and that it can take up to five cigarette ends.

As I don’t smoke myself (did I mention this?) I’ve photographed it with a pencil alongside for scale.

I’ve been trying to find out from BIC where to buy these. I’ll update here when I discover the answer.