Department of Public Protection
Fire-Safe Cigarettes Now Sold In Kentucky

Press Release Date:  Thursday, April 03, 2008  
Contact Information:  Jim Carroll, 502-564-7760  

         All cigarettes now sold in Kentucky must be “fire safe,” according to a law that went into effect April 1.

      The law, passed a year ago by the 2007 General Assembly, is expected to save lives and property by reducing fires caused by careless smoking, said Richard Moloney, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Housing, Building and Construction, the agency that includes the State Fire Marshal’s staff.

 “We’re confident that this legislation will pay immediate dividends,” Moloney said. “Unfortunately, Kentucky ranks ninth in the nation in fire-related deaths. We believe this law will reduce the number of such deaths.”

 A fire-safe cigarette is less likely to burn when left unattended. Typically, the cigarette has several bands of thicker paper that act as “speed bumps” to slow down the burning of the cigarette. If the cigarette is not puffed, it will extinguish itself when it burns down to one of the bands.

 Kentucky is now one of 24 states that mandates fire-safe cigarettes, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

 The State Fire Marshal is certifying fire-safe brands sold in Kentucky. A pack containing fire-safe cigarettes can be identified with the letters “FSC” or “FC,” signifying fire standards compliance.

 While there are penalties for failing to comply, Moloney said many cigarette manufacturers have already submitted their brands for certification. It may take a while before current inventory leaves store shelves and the fire-safe cigarettes appear.

 Smokers should not rely solely on fire-safe cigarettes to avert a fire, Moloney said.

     “First and foremost, a smoker should always properly extinguish his or her cigarette,” he said. “A moment of carelessness can lead to tragedy.”