Australia - new regs fire-safe cigarettes by March 2010..

September 22, 2008 - Cigarette makers will be required to change their products to ensure that cigarettes self-extinguish more readily, before the regulations come into force in March 2010.

Cigarettes for sale in Australia will be subject to stringent new regulations to reduce the fire risk from smouldering butts. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced today a new mandatory standard which will require cigarettes to be tested for combustibility.

"Cigarettes will be subject to performance standards and a testing regime which will reduce the likelihood of inadvertent fires occurring when smouldering cigarettes are left near combustible materials," federal Consumer Affairs Minister Chris Bowen said in a statement. "Cigarette-caused fires cost Australia in excess of $100 million each year not to mention the injuries and deaths that result from carelessly discarded cigarettes."

A study conducted by the Victorian Institute of Forensic Science found that between June 1, 2000, and June 30, 2006, 67 deaths nationally were caused by cigarette-related fires.

Related news brief: Starting in January 2009 Australia may require all cigarettes manufactured and sold throughout Australia to be self-extinguishing...

Reference: Cigarettes to have reduced fire risk,, 8/22/2008.

News on fire-safe cigarettes..