All 50 states passe fire-safe cigarette legislation

“Fire Safe” cigarettes, hailed by the fire prevention organization the National Fire Protection Authority as an effective fire Fire safe cigarettesprevention tool, will be sold in all 50 states by July 2011 per recent.

Fire safe cigarettes have extra sections of paper lining along the cigarette that put a cigarette out if not regularly smoked. The extra paper effectively acts as a “speed bump” for a burning cigarette.

Most states already require the sale of fire safe cigarettes and all R.J. Reynolds Tobacco cigarettes sold nationally already have fire safe technology built in to them.

Wyoming is the 50th state to enact legislation requiring the sale of fire safe cigarettes. It becomes law there in July 2011. Already, 43 states have similar legislation in effect. Massachusetts was one of the first five to regulating cigarettes, with a 2006 law signed by then-Gov. Mitt Romney.

The NFPA has pushed for state-by-state legislation since 2006 for fire safe cigarettes as a way to reduce accidental fires, organizing the group the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes in March 2006. Within two years, 22 states enacted legislation requiring fire safe cigarettes.

According to the NFPA, unattended cigarettes are the leading cause of home fire fatalities, killing between 700 and 900 people a year. Most often fires start when people leave cigarettes burning while smoking in bed, drop them in couches or do not extinguish them fully in ashtrays.

A smoldering cigarette can take up to three hours to burn out completely, according to the NFPA.

Canada already has national legislation that requires the manufacture of fire safe cigarettes as far back as 2005.

In New York, where legislation is already enacted, smoking-related deaths have fallen sharply, according to the NFPA.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, makers of, Winston and cigarettes, also already makes all of their cigarettes with fire safe manufacturing practices since October 2007.

Cigarette-ignited fires are the leading cause of residential fire deaths. Each year in this country, 700 to 900 people die in cigarette-ignited fires. One quarter of those people killed — often including children and the elderly — are not the smoker. Fire-safe cigarettes are designed to self-extinguish if dropped or left unattended. They are less likely to ignite clothing, bedding or other material.

The most effective fire prevention tips for cigarettes are to fully extinguish them. If possible, drop cigarettes in a container of water or, like matches, run them under the tap.

Always keep watch of cigarettes and fully extinguish cigarettes by crushing them in ashtrays. Do not throw cigarettes out the window of cars or drop them on the ground.

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