Missouri - fire-safe cigarettes delayed until January 2011..

August 31, 2009 - The law (signed into law July 1, 2009) was suppose to take effect September 2010. State Fire Marshall Randy Cole: To sell down existing stock, cigarette retailers and wholesalers will have until January 1, 2011, to bring inventory in line with the new law.

Under the new law, the state's Revenue Department could impose a fine of $100 per pack on retailers who sell the non-fire safe cigarettes. The law applies to all brands of cigarettes, not just those manufactured in the U.S.

A fire-safe cigarette is designed to self-extinguish
, because of bands layered into the tube, said David Sutton, spokesperson for Phillip Morris. These bands, or "speed bumps" as Sutton called them, slow the burn rate of a cigarette when the lit end crosses over them. Cigarettes containing these "speed bumps" tend to go out quicker than those with traditional tubes.

Although no changes to the tobacco have been made, some smokers have complained about a change in taste or the nuisance of having to relight their cigarettes, said David Howard, spokesperson for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Most smokers become accustomed to changes and complaint calls subside, Sutton said.

R.J. Reynolds will begin producing only fire-safe cigarettes at the end of 2009, Howard said, and Phillip Morris hopes to make all of its cigarettes fire-safe by the first half of 2010, Sutton said. Phillip Morris began shipping only fire-safe cigarettes to Missouri in July, 2009.

All states except Wyoming have adopted fire-safe cigarette laws, though 16 states, including Missouri, have delayed implementation until 2010 or 2011, according to the national Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes.

Reference: Switch to fire-safe cigarettes delayed until 2011 by Jeremy Essig, Missourian, 8/27/2009.