Europe enacts fire-safe cigarette legislation

In order to reduce cigarette-ignited fires and thus, smoking-induced fire deaths, all cigarettes sold in the 27 member states of the EU will have to be "fire-safe" as from November 17.

Self-extinguishing or Reduced Ignition Propensity (RIP) cigarettes stop burning when left unattended, thereby reducing the chance of starting a fire, the likely cause of approximately 30% of fire deaths and non-fatal injuries in most European countries.

"Evidence shows that the number of fatalities can be reduced by more than 40 percent with the introduction of "Reduced Ignition Propensity" cigarettes," according to the executive European Commission, citing data from Finland, the first European state to enact fire-safe cigarette legislation.

"There is no such thing as a safe cigarette, and, obviously, the safest thing is not to smoke at all! But if people choose to smoke then the new standards which are about to fully enter into force will require tobacco companies to make only reduced ignition propensity cigarettes, and potentially protect hundreds of citizens from this fire hazard," said EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Politics John Dalli.

Sources: BBCFOCUS Information Agency, Times LIVE



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