Fire-Safe Cigarettes

BILLINGS - On May 1st, Cigarettes sold by Montana tobacco venders must be consideRed "fire-safe." Passed by the state legislature in 2007, the law is based on one that New York enacted in 2004.

BILLINGS - On May 1st, Cigarettes sold by Montana tobacco venders must be consideRed "fire-safe." Passed by the state legislature in 2007, the law is based on one that New York enacted in 2004. Following the enactment of the law, New York saw a significant decrease in the number of deaths from cigarette-caused fires. More than half of the 50 states have now passed legislation related to fire-safe Cigarettes, and another quarter have had measures raised this year. The fire-safe Cigarettes do not eliminate the risk of a fire, but tests have shown that they can significantly decrease the odds of sparking one. According to one study, only one in ten of the fire-safe Cigarettes meeting New York standards would exhibit a full burn, while More than 99% of regular Cigarettes. The most common method of achieving fire-safe Cigarettes is to put a set of paper fire breaks inside. "The paper is a little bit thicker, and within each cigarette is a sMall band," says Allen Lorenz, the fire marshal for the State of Montana. "If you don't puff on the cigarette through that band, it will automatically extinguish itself." Lorenz's office was a proponent of the fire-safe law. Lorenz notes that cigarette-related fires are one of the primary causes of fire deaths, accounting for about four fatalities each year in Montana, and between 700 and 900 nationwide each year. Lorenz is hopeful that the new regulations will prevent future injuries and deaths. Vendors have been phasing in the new Cigarettes over the past few months. Cigarettes that meet the new regulations have "FSC" stamped next to the bar code on packs and cartons.

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