Fire Safe Cigarettes Mandated in 5 More US States
As of January 1 2009, 5 US more states put into effect a mandate which requires that stores sell only fire-safe cigarettes from now on.
Delaware, Iowa, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas on Thursday joined 17 other states in mandating the fire-safe cigarettes. Fifteen other states have laws that will take effect this year or next, according to the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes.
The paper on these "fire-safe" cigarettes is thicker in two separate spots so they will go out if not puffed when they burn to these areas. The idea is to prevent fires caused when cigarettes are left unattended.
Critics say that the fire-safe brands taste different and can extinguish a cigarette before a smoker is done smoking it.
About 800 Americans die each year in fires caused by careless smoking and the coalition estimates that number will be reduced if at least half the states pass the law.
While the new cigarettes may be safter, may smokers aren't happy with the law, citing that the new ones are harder to smoke and taste differently than traditional cigarettes. But they had better get used to it, as by the end of this year the majority of states will have signed on to the mandate:
According to the coalition, states that already had implemented fire-safe cigarette laws are New York, Vermont, California, Oregon, New Hampshire, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Utah, Alaska, Rhode Island and Minnesota, as well as the District of Columbia.
Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, Washington, Louisiana, Hawaii and Wisconsin have laws that take effect this year, according to the coalition's Web site. Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and South Carolina have laws that will take effect in 2010.