August 27, 2007 - North Carolina - New Law Requires All Cigarettes Be Self-Extinguishing To Save Lives... Governor Mike Easley today signed into law House Bill 1785: "An act to require cigarette fire safety by adopting a cigarette fire-safety standard." The new law requires that cigarettes sold in North Carolina be self-extinguishing in an effort to reduce the number of smoking-related fires and home-fire deaths. "Cigarettes are the leading cause of deaths from fires in North Carolina," said Easley. By making the change to self-extinguishing cigarettes, it is estimated that as many as 50 fire-related deaths in our state could be prevented each year." Between 2001 and 2006 there were 2,916 cigarette-related fires in North Carolina. Advocates say the self-extinguishing cigarettes could save three of every four cigarette-related fire deaths. In New York state, the first to adopt a ''fire-safe'' cigarette law, cigarette-related fire deaths dropped from a high of 44 in 2001 to 28 in 2005, the first year after the law was enacted.Twenty-one other states have adopted ''fire-safe'' cigarette laws, according to Stateline.org, the online news service. The new law requires that all cigarettes sold in North Carolina be self-extinguishing and that it be indicated on the product’s packaging. A manufacture that fails to follow the law could be subject to a $100,000 fine. A retailer could face a fine of up to $25,000 for knowingly selling cigarettes that are not self-extinguishing. The Bill passed the state House 109-5 and the state Senate 47-0. It goes into effect Jan. 1, 2010. See related Newsbriefs: July 20, 2007, June 23, 2007 and April 5, 2007. Fire - Safe Cigarettes for all 50 states - NOW.. More information from the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes.