- Unattended cigarettes can be a serious fire hazard.cigarette image by Tsvetomila Mitva from Fotolia.com
Fire safe cigarettes, also known as reduced ignition propensity or self-extinguishing cigarettes, are cigarettes designed to stop burning if left unattended. This is usually accomplished by incorporating two bands of material in the cigarette paper that will not burn without smoker actively inhaling through the cigarette. If the flame burns down to either of these "speed bumps" by itself, it will go out. The idea of fire safe cigarettes has been around in one form or another for over 70 years, but it wasn't until August 2000 that states started passing laws mandating them. Connecticut passed its fire safe cigarette law in 2007.
Public Act 07-180
- Public Act 07-180 was passed in Connecticut in July 2007 and became effective one year later. It mandates that all cigarettes sold in the state pass a testing standard set by the American Society of Testing and Materials. This testing standard, known as ASTM E2187-09, makes sure that "Not more than twenty-five percent of the cigarettes tested in a test trial . . . shall exhibit full length burns." The act describes a fire safe cigarette as having no less than two lowered permeability bands in the paper with one located at least 15 mm from the lighting end and one 10 mm from the filter or labeled end.
- Compliance with this act is monitored by the state fire marshal. The cigarette manufacturer is responsible for obtaining certification for each brand that it sells in the state. Certification costs $250 in 2010 for each brand and must be renewed every three years.
Labeling and Exceptions
- Cigarette manufacturers selling cigarettes in Connecticut must label cigarette packages with the letters "FSC," which stands for Fire Standards Compliant. This label should be in eight-point type and must be either permanently printed, stamped, engraved or embossed on the package. If there is a UPC code on the package the "FSC" should be placed near there. Dealers located in Connecticut may sell cigarettes that do not comply with any of the stipulations in the act if the purchasers are outside the state and the cigarettes are packaged and stamped accordingly.