Michigan smokers fired up about new fire safe cigarettes

Michigan smokers are firing up new cigarettes after a new law requiring fire-safe cigarettes went into effect Jan. 1. safe cigarettes

But, while fire-safe cigarettes are meant to extinguish easily to prevent fires, cigarette consumers are already burning-up over the new product.

Michigan is the 49th state to add the safety regulation to cigarettes.

In Northern Michigan the cigarettes marked FSC for Fire Standard Compliant began trickling into stores during the past several months. About the same time store owners began receiving complaints about the new product.

Nicky Williams, an employee at the Next Door Store in Petoskey said Thursday — before Jan. 1 — the store had already made the change to fire-safe cigarettes.

“We have (the fire-safe cigarettes) in all of our current cigarettes brands,” Williams said. “But, we still have some of the old ones.”

She said “everybody” has been complaining about the new cigarettes and asking to buy the old version of cigarettes.

Smokers say the “speed bumps” or rings of paper added to the cigarettes have had negative impacts to the flavor of the tobacco.

“The thing I hear most is they taste like smoking a rope,” said Chet Zaremba, the owner of Matches Discount Cigarettes and Tobacco in Petoskey.

A smoker himself, Zaremba said he has begun smoking Pyramid brand cigarettes, because they use a different paper that that of Phillip Morris USA, and other large cigarette companies.

Fatima Ellis, a cashier at the Harbor Springs South E-Z Mart, where all their cigarettes were already FSC, echoed the same complaints by customers.

“All the boxes we have now have the FSC on the side,” Ellis said. “But, people have been complaining that they taste a lot different and go out easily.”

The complaint that the FSC cigarettes extinguish unexpectedly is another primary complaint.

Under the new law, the fire-safe cigarettes are required to burn out at least 75 percent of the time when not being smoked.

Ellis said although she doesn’t smoke, she thinks it is a good idea that the cigarettes go out to prevent people from burning themselves if they fall asleep.

Nationally, the National Fire Protection Association recorded 780 deaths in the United States in 2006 because of cigarette-started fires.

On Thursday, before the New Year holiday rang in the new law, smokers in Northern Michigan were making a mad dash to stock up on the older version of their favorite smokes.

“People are going, believe it or not, from business to business looking for the old cigarettes,” said Scott Winfield, the store manager at the Holiday Station in Charlevoix.

Winfield said when customers would find out his store doesn’t carry the old cigarettes they often would leave.

“If we don’t have them, they say they are going somewhere else,” Winfield said. “We even have people say they are going to quit because they can’t take them.”

Stores continuing to sell the unsafe cigarettes could face penalties of up could face a penalty of $100 per pack.

Nationally, an organization called Citizens Against Fire Safe Cigarettes has began collected signatures to repeal the new laws. According to the organization’s Web site, more than 10,000 signatures were already collected earlier this fall.

While the complaints have been widespread, cigarette company Phillip Morris USA says it is only following the new legislation requirements.

“The company uses a banded paper that adds some additional rings of paper or layers of paper to the cigarette,” said Bill Phelps, the senior communications manager at Phillip Morris USA. “As the flame passes over those rings, it increases the likelihood of the flame extinguishing.”

As for the different taste, Phelps said the banded-paper technology was the only change his company has made to the cigarettes.

“That’s the change in the product,” he said. “We have noticed feedback from the consumers that consumers are saying their cigarettes are going out more frequently. That is typical.”

January 4, 2010
By Brandon Hubbard, Petoskeynews

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10 Responses to Michigan smokers fired up about new fire safe cigarettes

  1. FSC cigarettes are horrible and extremely dangerous. When I first heard about them on TV I thought they were a pretty cool idea because I’m all for fire prevention. I was wrong.

    The “fire safe” cigs are much more a fire hazard. The lit end falls out often and when you re-light they often spark (flame up). I read where one lady burnt her bangs and forehead because of that and thousands have burnt carpets, furniture, and clothes and/or have gotten sick (including myself). The papers aren’t actually thicker, it’s more paper stuck together with carpet glue. A lot of people have said they almost wrecked their cars when the cherry falls on their lap while driving. This is where it really affects nonsmokers because people will be crashing into them too! The petition mentioned in the article is here petition to Repeal Fire Safe Cigarette Laws. Read the signatures, it is really scary.

    After decades of smoking factory cigs hubby and I are smoking (vaping) e-cigs now and stuffing our own also. Please see My Smokin’ Blog for what works for us.

    Wishing all smokers the best in quitting or finding an alternative, or two.

  2. I didn’t know anything about the fire-safe cigarettes, so I didn’t realize that was what was making me so sick. I thought it was from my allergies. My mouth, throat, eyes, sinuses, lungs were burning. And so was my urine, feces and perspiration. I kept eliminating more foods and nothing was helping. I had noticed that there was something different about the cigarettes I had smoked for many years. But, I now know that some cartons were FSC and some were normal ones. So I couldn’t establish a pattern for my symptoms. I heard about the FSC on the news, and checked my current pack and carton. Sure enough, there was the FSC hidden on the bottom of the pack. I quit smoking cold-turkey. While I had brutal withdrawal symptoms from abruptly quiting the nicotine, the awful symptoms that were caused by the new Fire-safe cigarettes gradually improved. I won’t go back to smoking, because the FSC are a bigger health hazard then real cigarettes ever were. I hope that everyone who is sickened by the FS cigarettes is able to quit smoking, as I have done. Good Luck!

  3. Fire safe cigarettes do not spark Carrie, not any moreso than any other non-FSC though any may have a minor amount of impurities including a certain amount of elemental metal in the soil the tobacco was grown in.

    They do not contain anything that would account for your symptoms Donnie. It’s simply a slight bit of additional paper which you were already smoking for years, just less porous paper, and that so-called “carpet glue” you refer to is already holding the seam together on cigs so you don’t have any rational argument.

    I’m glad both of you quit smoking cigs, but all these illusions about FSCs are just another sign of the mental problems that regular use of some stimulants cause.

  4. ” but all these illusions about FSCs are just another sign of the mental problems that regular use of some stimulants cause”

    Arrogant self inflated egotistical Bullshit.
    I have personally observed this behavior in My cigarettes ( as I have to relight most of them several times) and fire falls off more often than non FSC’s did after I get them lit back. The highway is full of idiots like me trying to light their cigarettes back rather than watching where the hell they are driving…lol

  5. Sense I’ve been smoking these new fire safe cigarette’s I find that I cough more than ever. To check my theory I stated removing the tip of my cigarettes and to my surprise my coughing has subsided. Also the taste is god awful, I truly believe that this new method of fire safety cigarettes will cause more health issues. Although I support the effort of unattended cigarettes going out, this has to be harmful. Take a look at most people now on the streets and you will see them coughing rather violently while smoking this unknown substance that is being inhaled into there lungs. Big tobacco companies can and will tell the public at large anything to keep the profits coming in. I have decided that if I am going to inhale these chemicals into my body, I’d rather roll my own tobacco. thanks

  6. I decided to do some research on the cigarettes I’ve been smoking because I thought they tasted different and the last few days I have been really unwell and usually after a smoke..I found out this info and now it all makes sense..I can’t even get through a whole cig anymore as they are disgusting..I guess I should be pleased as giving up is probably alot healthier for me..however I love smoking but not this new crap we are buying..so goodbye fags..I’ll stick to pot!

  7. fsclawrepeal

    JC, that less porous paper creates more inefficient combustion, which creates more chemicals that are considered toxic being produced. Read the link to gain an understanding of toxicology.

    See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-brooks/fire-safe-cigarette-laws_b_519867.html

  8. whatever to whoever

    I have always smoked the same brand for years with no variations. Suddenly I noticed that I was getting headaches on a regular basis. This I believe to be a symptom of the new fire safety brand. Has anyone else had this experience?

  9. Message to JC: You are an idiot. There is more chemical because of the different paper and it is making people sick. You sound like one of the communist bastards that enacted this law. The so call “fire safe cigarettes” are more likely to start fires just like people posted. I had little to no problems with the old version but since the change I have burnt almost everything in my house. As for making people sick, I can’t wait for the class action lawsuit. The problem is we cannot sue the lawmakers for their neglegent actions.

  10. Cigarette companies are manufacturing a product that is known to murder you. FSC is that extra little kick to reduce the population a bit quicker.

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