While fire-safe cigarettes are long overdue in this country, most folks don’t even realize that those cigarettes are available. Smokers in 12 states will be lighting — and relighting — fire-safe cigarettes designed to go out when they’re not puffed as the result of new laws that went into effect on January 1, 2010. These states are among the last to require that all cigarettes meet standards first implemented by New York six years ago. The states with laws now going on the books are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
Wyoming is the only state that hasn’t passed such a law, according to the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes. Fire-safe cigarette laws will also take effect in Mississippi, Ohio and South Dakota by the first week of 2011. Canada also has a similar law. It has been reported that cigarettes are a major cause of fires, especially in residential occupancies. The coalition says cigarettes cause 700 to 900 fire deaths and about 3,000 injuries every year in the United States. Interestingly, many of them are among nonsmokers. The coalition’s members include fire prevention, consumer and health organizations.
The fire-safe standards require cigarettes to burn out 75% of the time when not in active use. There are tiny, ultra-thin bands of paper that are literally layered on the white part of the cigarette and when the lit end of the product crosses one of those bands it acts like a speed bump and it slows down the burn rate. Most states allow businesses to sell conventional cigarettes past the effective dates of their laws until existing stocks are exhausted. Fire-safe packs are generally marked with “FSC,” for Fire Standards Compliant. It’s good to see substantial progress being made in this area of concern. If you need additional information on this matter, feel free to contact Alyce Robertson Addison at 800-898-2034 or by email at Alyce.Robertson@beasleyallen.com.
Source: Associated Press
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