Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Signs Safe Cigarette Bill

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, March 27, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Senate Bill 134 requires cigarettes sold in Kentucky to be fire safe

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today held a bill signing ceremony for a new law that requires all cigarettes sold in Kentucky to be “fire safe.” A fire-safe cigarette uses a special paper that extinguishes a lit cigarette left unattended, thus possibly reducing fires caused by careless smoking.

“I am pleased to say that signing this law enabled me to help Kentucky join the vanguard of states that have passed similar legislation,” Governor Fletcher said.

Other states adopting fire-safe cigarettes are New York, Illinois, Vermont, California, New Hampshire, Utah and Massachusetts.

In Kentucky, Sen. Gary Tapp (R-Waddy) introduced the bill in the Senate and Rep. Joni Jenkins (D-Jefferson) introduced it in the House.  The Senate version of the bill passed both chambers unanimously.

Governor Fletcher praised Sen. Tapp for introducing Senate Bill 134 and guiding it through the legislature. He also acknowledged strong support from the Kentucky Firefighters and Kentucky Fire Chiefs associations.  The National Fire Protection Association has also taken a leadership role in getting this legislation passed in Kentucky and other states.

“Today, Kentucky is taking an important step forward to protect its citizens from the tragic consequences of cigarette fires,” said James M. Shannon, president of the National Fire Protection Association. “Every state in the country should follow Kentucky’s lead and pass legislation requiring cigarettes to meet this fire safety standard.”

The State Fire Marshal will certify fire-safe brands sold in Kentucky. The fees collected for the certification process will total about $180,000 a year and will be used to fund fire safety education campaigns.

The law goes into effect April 1, 2008.