Michigan's Fire Safe Cigarette Law Takes Effect January 1, 2010; Manufacturers Required to Certify Self-Extinguishing Cigarettes with State

Contact: Mario L. Morrow 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

November 9, 2009 - State Fire Marshal Ronald R. Farr today announced that cigarette manufacturers must certify their brand families and associated styles as fire safe in order to sell them in Michigan after January 1, 2010. The Fire Standard Compliant (FSC) mark approval process for manufacturers begins today.

This is in accordance with Governor Jennifer M. Granholm signing into law Public Act 56 of 2009, the Fire Safety Standard and Firefighter Protection Act, which provides for the regulation of the sale and distribution of fire safe cigarettes. These cigarettes are specifically manufactured to self-extinguish if left unattended. The new law goes into effect January 1, 2010.

"This law will have a significant impact on reducing the number of fires, associated deaths, injuries, and property damage caused by discarded or unattended smoking materials," said Farr. "Because these cigarettes are less likely to ignite fires, this law is a big step in fire protection for Michigan citizens."

Combustion of discarded smoking materials is the second leading cause of home fire-related deaths and injuries in the United States. According to the United States Fire Administration, states that have passed fire safe cigarette legislation such as New York have seen a 33 percent reduction in the number of fire-related deaths and injuries caused by discarded smoking materials.

Packaging for fire safe cigarettes will be required by law to have a special Fire Standard Compliant (FSC) mark indicating that the cigarettes meet certified laboratory low ignition standards. These marks must be submitted to the State Fire Marshal for approval. A manufacturer must use only one marking on all brands approved for sale in Michigan.

The approval process for the packaging mark consists of the manufacturer sending an email with an illustration of the FSC mark that meets the requirements of the law attached as a PDF file to the Bureau of Fire Services. Upon review and approval, the Bureau of Fire Services will email approval to manufacturer within five business days.

Manufacturers will be able to register their brand families and associated styles, and pay the required $1,250 registration fee online in December. The law applies to all brands of cigarettes, and is not limited to those manufactured in the United States. Recertification by the manufacturer will be required every three years.

Manufacturers, distributors and retailers who knowingly continue to sell non- fire-safe cigarettes in Michigan that have tax stamps affixed after January 1, 2010, will be subject to a fine of $100 per pack and/or product seizure. Wholesalers/distributors/retailers will be allowed to sell their existing inventory if they can prove the state tax stamp was affixed to the cigarettes before January 1, 2010, in a quantity that is comparable to the quantity of cigarettes they purchased during 2009.

The Bureau of Fire Services located in the Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth is administering the fire safe cigarette certification and registration process.

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