Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-20.11
Reduced Cigarette Ignition Propensity and Firefighter Protection

SECTION 23-20.11-2

§ 23-20.11-2. Legislative findings.

It is hereby found and declared as follows:

(1) 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.

(2) 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.

(3) 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.

(4) 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.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2007, ch. 245, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 333, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 475, § 64.)