Fire laws against cigarettes tightened

April 2, 2004 at 3:20 PM
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OTTAWA, April 2 (UPI) -- A new fire prevention law in Canada will require tobacco companies to make cigarettes that extinguish themselves if a smoker stops puffing.

The law is designed to prevent fires that result when a smoker falls asleep while smoking and the lit cigarette smolders, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday.

The new law, sponsored by John McKay, a member of parliament representing the Liberal Party, also calls the fire-safe cigarettes "reduced ignition propensity cigarettes."

Figures show between 1995 and 1999, at least 14,000 fires resulted from unattended cigarettes that ignited something flammable.

These fires killed 356 people, injured another 1,615 people and caused property damage estimated at more than $200 million.

McKay said the new cigarettes will not stop all fires, but called his bill a start.

New York State passed a similar law last year for self-extinguishing cigarettes, and other jurisdictions around the world are looking at similar laws, the report said.

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