Cigarettes Sold in Virginia Must Meet Fire Standards

December 28, 2009

Starting next month, cigarettes sold in Virginia must comply with standards aimed at making them less likely to start fires.

The General Assembly passed legislation in 2008 requiring that cigarettes sold in the state meet standards that make cigarettes more likely to self-extinguish.

The key change is the type of paper, which has several rows of less-porous bands that slow a cigarette’s burn rate and makes it more likely to extinguish when discarded or left unattended.

Preliminary data collected by the Virginia Department of Fire Programs shows that, in 2009, cigarettes and other smoking materials were identified as the cause of 150 structure fires, four fatalities, 12 civilian and two firefighter injuries and more than $6 million in property losses.

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