Wisconsin - almost last state to require fire-safe cigarettes..

October 14, 2009 - Governor Jim Doyle signed the bill a year-and-a-half ago and the law took effect on October 1, 2009.

Fire-safe cigarettes.. are designed to snuff themselves out if they’re not smoked for a certain length of time. The idea is to prevent fires started by cigarettes that are left smoldering.

Sen. Judy Robson, D-Beloit, tried for five years to require fire-safe cigarettes, soon after New York became the first state to mandate it. Now, every state but Wyoming has similar laws on the books although some won’t actually take effect until next year or 2011.

The National Fire Protection Association says 800 Americans die each year from fires caused by smoking materials.

But not all smokers are crazy about the new cigarettes. Milwaukee tobacco retailer Jeff Steinbock says some of his customers complain that the new smokes don’t taste as good and they have to keep lighting them up because they go out too quickly.
Steinbock says it’s another case of blaming the product instead of people for their irresponsible behavior.

R.J. Reynolds will begin producing only fire-safe cigarettes at the end of 2009 and Phillip Morris hopes to make all of its cigarettes fire-safe by the first half of 2010

Reference: Wisconsin is next-to-last state to require fire-safe cigarettes, River Falls Journal, 10/12/2009.

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