STOCKTON, Calif. – Many smokers are willing to walk a mile for a Camel, but will they be willing to puff a little harder?
Six States Requiring Safer Smokes.
A new California state law that took effect this week requires stores to sell cigarettes that are designed to go out if the smoker stops puffing or drops the cigarette.
Six states have adopted legislation requiring the self-snuffing smokes in an effort to prevent fires.
The new cigarettes have tiny paper bands through which flame is not supposed to burn without the smoker puffing on the cigarette. New York was the first state to require “fire-safe” cigarettes, in June 2004, according to the Sacramento Bee. Vermont, Illinois, New Hampshire and Massachusetts also passed similar laws.
The National Fire Protection Association said that three out of four fires caused by cigarettes could be averted with the safer variety.
Authorities said cigarettes are the leading cause of home fire fatalities, killing more than 700 people each year. One in three of the victims is a child, according so Sacramento TV station KCRA.
Regular cigaretes burn to the end, which can take 10 to 20 minutes. But a fire-safe cigarette stops within a minute after being puffed.
Robert Tuitavuki of the Stockton Fire Department said fires are often caused when people leave cigarettes unattended or fall asleep while smoking.
At some stores, owners have been hearing complaints from customers.
Sunil Sharma of Washington Market said he knows of one customer who stopped coming in because the cigarettes being sold are designed for safety.
Some smokers said they notice a difference in taste, but most said they would rather relight than quit smoking.
R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris, two of the largest cigarette makers, want a uniform mandate across the United States. The mandate would be set by Congress, which, according to the paper, which has not taken action.
“We don’t want to see a patchwork where states might implement different laws with different standards,” John Singleton, communications director for Reynolds’ parent firm, told the paper.
In 2005, the first full year that New York …