New bill requires only fire-safe cigarettes be sold in Hawaii

HONOLULU - Governor Linda Lingle signed a bill Monday to require only fire-safe cigarettes be sold in Hawaii starting October 1, 2009.  

These reduced ignition cigarettes burn at a lower temperature which reduces possible fire hazards caused by smoldering cigarettes.

Between 2001 and 2006, there were 438 fires caused by cigarettes in Hawaii causing $1.5 million in property damage and resulting in 10 injuries.

"Low ignition cigarettes can help reduce accidental fires as well as injuries caused by smoldering cigarettes," said Governor Lingle.  "However, these types of cigarettes are not guaranteed to be self-extinguishing, therefore smokers must continue to take personal responsibility to extinguish cigarettes properly and ensure lit cigarettes are not left unattended."

Currently there are 2,156 brand styles of cigarettes listed in the Hawaii Tobacco Directory.

Hawaii plans to use the certifications from other states to start its program in 2009.  
The new law, Act 218, takes effect immediately.