PIKESVILLE, Md. (June 26, 2008)—The Cigarette Fire Safety Performance Standard and Firefighters Safety Protection Act requires the sale of fire standard compliant (FSC) cigarettes in Maryland, starting July 1. Maryland was the 11th State to pass such legislation in 2007 and Governor OMalley signed this bill into effect on May 17, 2007. These new cigarettes are considered safer because of an ability in most instances to self extinguish, reducing the chance of fire.
Fire standard complaint cigarettes (FSC) must meet the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) criteria and most use a different design in the paper which restricts air flow. The bans of paper act as speed bumps slowing down the burning of the cigarette thereby creating a reduced propensity to burn when left unattended.
We are very proud of our accomplishments on this issue in Maryland and anticipate that fire standard compliant cigarettes will help prevent both fires and fire deaths for years to come, said Fire Marshal William E. Barnard in a prepared statement.
Two other states as well as the District of Columbia will have laws going into effect the same day. The Coalition of Fire-Safe Cigarettes sites that 74% of the U.S. population is now or soon will be better protected from cigarette fires.
Source: Maryland State Fire Marshall