Deadline approaches for sale of ‘fire safe’ cigarettes
As of Jan. 1, all cigarettes sold in Texas must be certified fire standard compliant (FSC). All FSC cigarettes will be marked near the Universal Product Code (UPC) with the letters FSC. Any manufacturer, wholesaler/distributor, or retailer who knowingly sells or offers for sale non-FSC cigarettes may be subject to a fine of up to $100 per pack.
Fire standard compliant – or “fire safe” – cigarettes are designed to self-extinguish if they are left unattended or not actively being smoked.
Gov. Rick Perry signed House Bill (HB) 2935 into law in June 2007, which required all cigarettes sold in Texas be certified fire standard compliant by Jan. 1, 2009. Enforcement of the fire-safe cigarette law will begin on Jan. 1, 2010. The time interval between the effective date of HB 2935 and the start of enforcement efforts allowed retailers to dispose/sell any existing inventory of non-FSC cigarettes.
Texas is among 49 states where FSC legislation is either effective or has passed legislation. Wyoming filed FSC legislation in 2009, but it has not yet passed. The state Fire Marshal’s Office, part of the Texas Department of Insurance, is responsible for all FSC cigarettes certifications, inspections, and enforcement in Texas.
“The state Fire Marshal’s Office is committed to reducing the loss of life and property due to fire and other related hazards,” said Fire Marshal Paul Maldonado. “Fire standard compliant cigarettes will aid in the prevention of fires and reduce the loss of life and property in Texas.”
For more information about fire-safe cigarettes, visit the agency Web site at www.tdi.state.tx.us/fire/fmfiresafecig.html or contact Roger Young in the State Fire Marshall’s Office at (512) 322-3527 or e-mail: Roger.Young@tdi.state.tx.us.