2007 -- H 5257 SUBSTITUTE A AS AMENDED
A N A C T
RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY
Introduced By: Representatives Lewiss, Ginaitt, Dennigan, Corvese, and Malik
Date Introduced: January 31, 2007
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Title 23 of the General Laws entitled "HEALTH AND SAFETY" is hereby
amended by adding thereto the following chapter:
THE REDUCED CIGARETTE IGNITION PROPENSITY AND FIREFIGHTER
23-20.11-1. Short title. -- This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Reduced
Cigarette Ignition Propensity and Firefighter Protection Act."
23-20.11-2. Legislative findings. -- It is hereby found and declared as follows:
(a) The general assembly finds that cigarettes are one of the leading causes of fire deaths
in this state and in the nation. Each year 700-900 people are killed in the United States due to
cigarette fires; 3,000 are injured in fires ignited by cigarettes. A high proportion of the victims of
cigarette fires are nonsmokers, including senior citizens and young children. Cigarette-caused
fires result in billions of dollars of property losses and damage in the United States and millions
of dollars in this state. Cigarette fires unnecessarily jeopardize firefighters and result in avoidable
emergency response costs for municipalities.
(b) The general assembly further finds that the state of New York has enacted a cigarette
fire safety regulation effective June 28, 2004 that requires that cigarettes sold in that state meet
the fire safety performance standards. In 2005, the states of Vermont and California signed into
law cigarette fire safety acts that directly incorporate New York's regulation into statute; and in
2006, the states of Illinois, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts did the same. Canada
implemented the New York State fire safety standard as of October 2005, becoming the first
nation to have a cigarette fire safety standard.
(c) The general assembly finds that New York State's cigarette fire safety standard is
based upon decades of research by the National Institute of Standards and Technology,
Congressional research groups and private industry.
(d) It is the general assembly's intent that the state of Rhode Island adopt the cigarette fire
safety standard that is in effect in New York State, and the other states listed above, to reduce the
likelihood that cigarettes will cause fires and result in deaths, injuries and property damage. It is
further the legislature's intent to adopt such a cigarette fire safety standard with a minimum of
cost to the state and with minimum burden to cigarette manufacturers, distributors and retail
sellers as set forth herein.
23-20.11-3. Definitions. -- The following terms shall have the following meanings as
used in this chapter:
(a) "Agent" shall mean any person authorized by the state to purchase and affix tax
stamps on packages of cigarettes.
(b) "Cigarette" shall mean any roll for smoking whether made wholly or in part of
tobacco or any other substance, irrespective of size or shape and whether or not such tobacco or
substance is flavored, adulterated or mixed with any other ingredient, the wrapper or cover of
which is made of paper or any other substance or material except tobacco, and that because of its
size, appearance, the type of tobacco used in its filler, or its packaging or labeling, is likely to be
offered to, or purchased by, consumers as a cigarette or cigarette equivalent.
(c) "Director" shall mean the director of the Rhode Island department of health.
(d) "Manufacturer" shall mean:
(1) any entity which manufacturers or otherwise produces cigarettes or causes cigarettes
to be manufactured or produced anywhere that such manufacturer intends to be sold in this state,
including cigarettes intended to be sold in the United States through an importer; or
(2) the first purchaser anywhere that intends to resell in the United States cigarettes
manufactured anywhere that the original manufacturer or maker does not intend to be sold in the
United States; or
(3) any entity that becomes a successor of an entity described in paragraph (a) or (b) of
(e) "Repeatability" shall mean the range of values within which the repeat results of
cigarette test trails from a single laboratory will fall ninety-five percent (95%) of the time.
(f) "Retail dealer" shall mean any person other than a manufacturer or wholesale dealer
engaged in selling cigarettes or tobacco products.
(g) "Sale" shall mean any transfer of title or possession or both, exchange or barter,
conditional or otherwise, in any manner or by any means whatever or any agreement therefor. In
addition to cash and credit sales, the giving of cigarettes as samples, prizes or gifts, and the
exchanging of cigarettes for any consideration other than money are considered sales.
(h) "Sell" shall mean to sell, or to offer or agree to do the same.
(i) "Quality control and quality assurance program" shall mean the laboratory procedures
implemented to ensure that operator bias, systematic and nonsystematic methodological errors,
and equipment-related problems do not affect the results of the testing. This program ensures that
the testing repeatability remains within the required repeatability values stated in subsection 23-
20.11-4(a) of this act for all test trials used to certify cigarettes in accordance with this law.
(j) "Wholesale dealer" shall mean any person who sells cigarettes or tobacco products to
retail dealers or other persons for purposes of resale, and any person who owns, operates or
maintains one or more cigarette or tobacco product vending machines in, at or upon premises
owned or occupied by any other person.
23-20.11-4. Standards for cigarette fire safety. -- (a) No cigarettes may be sold or
offered for sale in this state or offered for sale or sold to persons located in this state unless such
cigarettes have been tested in accordance with the test method and meet the performance standard
specified in this subsection; and a written certification has been filed by the manufacturer with the
director in accordance with section 23-20.11-5 of this act; and the cigarettes have been marked in
accordance with section 23-20.11-6 of this act.
(1) Testing of cigarettes shall be conducted in accordance with the American Society of
Testing and Materials ("ASTM") standard E2187-04 "Standard Test Method for Measuring the
Ignition Strength of Cigarettes."
(2) Testing shall be conducted on ten (10) layers of filter paper.
(3) No more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the cigarettes tested in a test trial in
accordance with this subsection shall exhibit full-length burns. Forty (40) replicate tests shall
comprise a complete test trial for each cigarette tested.
(4) The performance standard required by this subsection shall only be applied to a
complete test trial.
(5) Written certifications shall be based upon testing conducted by a laboratory that has
been accredited pursuant to Standard ISO/IEC 17025 of the International Organization for
Standardization ("ISO"), or other comparable accreditation standard required by the director.
(6) Laboratories conducting testing in accordance with this subsection shall implement a
quality control and quality assurance program that includes a procedure to determine the
repeatability of the testing results. The repeatability value shall be no greater than nineteen
(7) This section does not require additional testing if cigarettes are tested consistent with
this chapter for any other purpose.
(8) Testing performed or sponsored by the director to determine a cigarette's compliance
with the performance standard required by this section shall be conducted in accordance with this
(b) Each cigarette listed in a certification submitted pursuant to section 23-20.11-5 of this
act that uses lowered permeability bands in the cigarette paper to achieve compliance with the
performance standard set forth in this section shall have at least two (2) nominally identical bands
on the paper surrounding the tobacco column. At least one complete band shall be located at least
fifteen (15) millimeters from the lighting end of the cigarette. For cigarettes on which the bands
are positioned by design, there shall be at least two (2) bands fully located at least fifteen (15)
millimeters from the lighting end and ten (10) millimeters from the filter end of the tobacco
column, or ten (10) millimeters from the labeled end of the tobacco column for a nonfiltered
(c) The manufacturer or manufacturers of a cigarette that the director determines cannot
be tested in accordance with the test method prescribed in subsection 23-20.11-4(a) shall propose
a test method and performance standard for such cigarette to the director. Upon approval of the
proposed test method and a determination by the director that the performance standard proposed
by the manufacturer or manufacturers is equivalent to the performance standard prescribed in
subsection 23-20.11-4(a), the manufacturer or manufacturers may employ such test method and
performance standard to certify such cigarette pursuant to section 23-20.11-5 of this act. If the
director determines that another state has enacted reduced cigarette ignition propensity standards
that include a test method and performance standard that are the same as those contained in this
section, and the director finds that the officials responsible for implementing those requirements
have approved the proposed alternative test method and performance standard for a particular
cigarette proposed by a manufacturer as meeting the reduced cigarette ignition propensity
standards of that state's law or regulation under a legal provision comparable to this subsection,
then the director shall authorize that manufacturer to employ the alternative test method and
performance standard to certify that cigarette for sale in this state, unless the director
demonstrates a reasonable basis why the alternative test should not be accepted under this
chapter. All other applicable requirements of this section shall apply to such manufacturer or
(d) Each manufacturer shall maintain copies of the reports of all tests conducted on all
cigarettes offered for sale for a period of three (3) years, and shall make copies of these reports
available to the director and the attorney general upon written request. Any manufacturer who
fails to make copies of these reports available within sixty (60) days of receiving a written request
shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each day after
the sixtieth (60th) day that the manufacturer does not make such copies available.
(e) The director may adopt a subsequent ASTM Standard Test Method for Measuring the
Ignition Strength of Cigarettes upon a finding that such subsequent method does not result in a
change in the percentage of full-length burns exhibited by any tested cigarette when compared to
the percentage of full-length burns the same cigarette would exhibit when tested in accordance
with ASTM Standard E2187-04 and the performance standard prescribed in subsection 23-20.11-
(f) As of January 1, 2010, and at least every three (3) years thereafter, the director shall
review of the effectiveness of this section and report to the legislature the director's finding's and,
if appropriate, recommendations for legislation to improve the effectiveness of this section. The
report and legislative recommendations shall be submitted no later than January 1 of each three
(3) year period.
(g) This chapter shall be implemented in accordance with the implementation and
substance of the New York Fire Safety Standards for Cigarettes.
23-20.11-5. Certification of compliance by manufacturers. -- (a) Each manufacturer
shall submit to the director a written certification attesting that:
(1) Each cigarette listed in the certification has been tested in accordance with section 23-
20.11-4 of this act;
(2) Each cigarette listed in the certification meets the performance standard set forth
under section 23-20.11-4 of this act.
(b) Each cigarette listed in the certification shall be described with the following
(1) brand (i.e., the trade name on the package);
(2) style (e.g., light, ultra light);
(3) length in millimeters;
(4) circumference in millimeters;
(5) flavor (e.g., menthol, chocolate), if applicable;
(6) filter or non-filter;
(7) package description (e.g., soft pack, box);
(8) the marking approved in accordance with section 23-20.11-6 of this act;
(9) the name, address and telephone number of the laboratory, if different than the
manufacturer that conducted the test; and
(10) the date that the testing occurred.
(c) Such certifications shall be made available to the attorney general and the department
of taxation for the purposes of ensuring compliance with this section. Each cigarette certified
under this section shall be recertified every three (3) years.
(d) For each certification a manufacturer shall pay to the director a two hundred and fifty
dollar ($250) fee. The director shall have the power to adjust this fee to an amount sufficient only
to provide for processing, testing, enforcement and oversight activities related to this chapter.
(e) There is hereby established in the custody of the state comptroller a special fund to be
known as the "Reduced Cigarette Ignition Propensity and Firefighter Protection Act Enforcement
Fund". Such fund shall consist of all certification fees submitted by manufacturers, and shall, in
addition to any other monies made available for such purpose, be available to the department of
health and shall be used solely to support state processing, testing, enforcement and oversight
activities related to this chapter. All payments from the Reduced Cigarette Ignition Propensity
and Firefighter Protection Act Enforcement Fund shall be made on the audit and warrant of the
state treasurer on vouchers certified and submitted by the director.
(f) If a manufacturer has certified a cigarette pursuant to this section, and thereafter
makes any change to such cigarette that is likely to alter its compliance with the reduced cigarette
ignition propensity standards mandated by this chapter, then before such cigarette may be sold or
offered for sale in this state such manufacturer shall retest such cigarette in accordance with the
testing standards prescribed in section 23-20.11-4 of this act and maintain records of such
retesting as required in section 23-20.11-4 of this act. Any such altered cigarette which does not
meet the performance standard set forth in section 23-20.11-4 of this act may not be sold in the
23-20.11-6. Package markings. -- (a) Cigarettes that are certified by a manufacturer in
accordance with section 23-20.11-5 shall be marked to indicate compliance with the requirements
of section 23-20.11-4. Such marking shall be in eight (8) point font type or larger and consist of:
(1) Modification of the product UPC Code to indicate a visible mark printed at or around
the area of the UPC Code. Such mark may consist of alphanumeric or symbolic character(s)
permanently stamped, engraved, embossed or printed in conjunction with the UPC; or
(2) Any visible combination of alphanumeric or symbolic character(s) permanently
stamped, engraved, or embossed upon the cigarette package or cellophane wrap; or
(3) Printed, stamped, engraved or embossed text that indicates that the cigarettes meet the
standards of this section.
(b) A manufacturer must use only one marking, and must apply this marking uniformly
for all packages (including, but not limited to, packs, cartons, and cases) and brands marketed by
(c) The director must be notified as to the marking that is selected.
(d) Prior to the certification of any cigarette, a manufacturer shall present its proposed
marking to the director for approval. Upon receipt of the request, the director shall approve or
disapprove the marking offered, except that the director shall approve any marking in use and
approved for sale in this state pursuant to the New York Fire Safety Standards for Cigarettes.
Proposed markings shall be deemed approved if the director fails to act with ten (10) business
days of receiving a request for approval.
(e) No manufacturer shall modify its approved marking unless the modification has been
approved by the director in accordance with this section.
(f) Manufacturers certifying cigarettes in accordance with section 23-20.11-5 shall
provide a copy of such certifications to all wholesale dealers and agents to which they sell
cigarettes, and shall also provide sufficient copies of an illustration of the package marking
utilized by the manufacturer pursuant to section for each retail dealer to which the wholesale
dealers or agents sell cigarettes. Wholesale dealers and agents shall provide a copy of these
package markings received from manufacturers to all retail dealers to which they sell cigarettes.
Wholesale dealers, agents, and retail dealers shall permit the director, the department of taxation,
the attorney general, their employees, or other law enforcement personnel, to inspect markings of
cigarette packaging marked in accordance with this section.
23-20.11-7. Enforcement and penalties. -- (a) Any manufacturer, wholesale dealer,
agent or any other person or entity who knowingly sells or offers to sell cigarettes, other than
through retail sale, in violation of section 23-20.11-4 shall, for first offense be subject to a civil
penalty not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per each such sale of such cigarettes, and for
a subsequent offense be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars
($25,000) per each such sale of cigarettes, provided that in no case shall the penalty against any
such person or entity exceed one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for sales or offers to sell
during a thirty (30) day period. Any retail dealer who knowingly sells or offers to sell cigarettes
in violation of section 23-20.11-4 shall be subject to the following: (1) for a first offense be
subject to a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500), and for a subsequent offense
be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000), per each such sale or
offer for sale of cigarettes; provided, that the total number of cigarettes sold or offered for sale in
such sale does not exceed one thousand (1,000) cigarettes; (2) for a first offense be subject to a
civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), and for a subsequent offense be subject
to a civil penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) per each such sale or offer for sale
of such cigarettes; provided, that the total number of cigarettes sold or offered for sale in such
sale exceeds one thousand (1,000) cigarettes, provided that this penalty against any retail dealer
shall not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) during a thirty (30) day period. In
addition to any penalty prescribed by law, any corporation, partnership, sole proprietor, limited
partnership or association engaged in the manufacturer of cigarettes that knowingly makes a false
certification pursuant to section 23-20.11-5 shall, for a first offense be subject to a civil penalty
not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and for a subsequent offense a civil penalty not to
exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), for each such false certification. Any person
violating any other provision in this section shall be subject to a civil penalty for a first offense
not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), and for a subsequent offense subject to a civil
penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each such violation. Any cigarettes that
have been sold or offered for sale that do not comply with the safety standard required by section
23-20.11-4 shall be subject to forfeiture an disposal by the state; provided, however, that prior to
the destruction of any cigarette forfeited pursuant to these provision, the true holder of the
trademark rights in the cigarette brand shall be permitted to inspect such cigarette.
(b) The director is authorized to enforce this legislation and to promulgate regulations as
necessary to effectuate the purposes of this law.
(c) The director of the division of taxation, in the regular course of conducting
inspections of wholesale dealers, agents, and retail dealers, may inspect cigarettes to determine if
the cigarettes are marked as required by section 23-20.11-6 of this act. If the cigarettes are not
marked as required, the director of the division of taxation shall notify the director.
(d) In addition to any other remedy provided by law, the attorney general may file an
action in state court for a violation of this chapter, including petitioning for injunctive relief or to
recover any costs or damages suffered by the state government because of a violation of this
section, including enforcement costs relating to the specific violation and attorney's fees. Each
violation of this section or of rules adopted under this section constitutes a separate civil violation
for which the attorney general may obtain relief.
(e) To enforce the provisions of this act, the attorney general and the director are hereby
authorized to examine the books, papers, invoices and other records of any person in possession,
control or occupancy of any premises where cigarettes are placed, stored, sold or offered for sale,
as well as the stock of cigarettes in any such premises. Every person in the possession, control or
occupancy of any premises where cigarettes are placed, sold or offered for sale, is hereby directed
and required to give the attorney general and the director the means, facilities and opportunity for
the examinations authorized by this section.
23-20.11-8. Fire prevention and public safety fund. -- There is hereby established in
the custody of the state comptroller a special fund to be known as the "Fire Prevention and Public
Safety Fund." The fund shall consist of all monies recovered as penalties hereunder. Monies shall
be deposited to the credit of the fund and shall, in addition to any other monies made available for
such purpose, be available to the director to support fire safety and prevention programs. All
payments from the fund shall be made on the audit and warrant of the state treasurer on vouchers
certified and submitted by the director.
23-20.11-9. Effect of federal regulation. -- This act shall be repealed if a federal
reduced cigarette ignition propensity standard that preempts this act is adopted and becomes
23-20.11-10. Local regulation. -- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the local
governmental units of this state may neither enact nor enforce any ordinance or other local law or
regulation conflicting with, or preempted by, any provision of this act or with any policy of this
state expressed by this act, whether that policy be expressed by inclusion of a provision in the act
or by exclusion of that subject from the act.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect on the first day of the thirteenth month after
enactment, and the requirement that only cigarettes certified as compliant with the performance
standard herein may be sold shall not prohibit wholesale dealers or retail dealers from selling
their existing inventory of cigarettes on or after the effective date of this act if the wholesale
dealer or retailer can establish that state tax stamps were affixed to the cigarettes prior to the
effective date of this act, and if such wholesale dealer or retailer dealer can establish that such
inventory was purchased prior to the effective date of this act in comparable quantity to the
inventory purchased during the same period of the prior year. Nothing in this act shall be
construed to prohibit any person or entity from manufacturing or selling cigarettes that do not
meet the requirements of section 23-20.11-4 if such cigarettes are or will be stamped for sale in
another state or are packaged for sale outside the United States.