So, my mother had a rectangular vegetable planter filled with soil that was sitting in the garage of the previous home I was leasing. After I moved into my current home back in late Feb of this year, that same planter, I set it outside the front door and used it as an ashtray, tossing cigarette butts into it. The soil was still in it as I had not tossed it out. A few weeks later last month in Mar, I noticed plants sprouting from the planter. Lo and behold, what started to grow was cilantro that my mother had planted over a year ago. So I removed and disposed of all the cigarette butts and have been watering the cilantro. And they’ve been growing nicely these past several weeks.
My question is: Are the cilantro safe to eat? I’m concerned that with my using the planter as an ashtray prior to realizing that there were dormant plants in there, that the toxins from the cigarette butts have leached into the soil and then into the cilantro.
You are correct in your concerns.
This link has more information for you.