Littering smokers to be offered rewards if they quit
Smokers caught dropping their cigarette butts are to be rewarded with shopping vouchers - if they complete an anti-smoking course.
The policy being introduced by a south London council is aimed at improving health and stopping littering.
Wandsworth Council will hand over £30 vouchers if someone can prove they have given up smoking.
The policy will apply to those littering all "smoking-related rubbish" - including empty packets.
The council will also hand out pocket ashtrays to promote stop smoking campaigns and "litter education exercises" will be held to support the borough-wide pilot scheme.
Jonathan Cook, the council's environment spokesman, said the approach would "simultaneously help people give up smoking and reduce the amount of smoking-related litter".
The council's health spokesman Jim Maddan added: "We know that 65% of smokers want to quit, but often they don't know where to turn for help. This scheme will help them find that help."
Cost of smoking
Of the 614 litter-related fines issued in Wandsworth in the last year, 50% were for dropping smoking-related rubbish.
The fine is £80, reduced to £55 if paid within 10 days.
The council reported the cost of smoking to Wandsworth is around £30m a year - through lost productivity from early deaths, smoking breaks, NHS costs, passive smoking, waste disposal and smoking-related fires.
Similar schemes have been introduced in other London boroughs including Enfield, Haringey and Maidstone and the City of London.