Mandatory fire safe cigarettes?

The move in Australia towards fire safe cigarettes is a little closer today with the federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock agreeing to ask the Treasurer to introduce the standard;

NSW Govt wants fire safe cigarettes mandatory

The New South Wales Government says it hopes cigarettes that self-extinguish when not being smoked will be mandatory in Australia within two years.

NSW Emergency Services Minister Tony Kelly is pushing for Australia to adopt a national standard that would make the reduced fire risk cigarettes mandatory.

He says federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has agreed to ask the Treasurer to introduce the standard, which has been adopted in the United States and Canada.

Mr Kelly says the cigarettes would help save lives.

"There are a number of ways, for example they can reduce the citrates in the cigarettes or they can have paper that effectively has speed bumps in it - raised pieces of paper in the cigarette that also make the cigarette go out if it's not being smoked," he said.

"Each year there's more than 4,500 fires around Australia that are caused by cigarette ignitions.

"The national coroner's information system shows that 67 people died in fires directly attributed to cigarettes between 2000 and 2005, so this new proposal is aimed at reducing the risk of fires."

A spokesman for Mr Ruddock says his support is subject to NSW developing a regulation impact statement. more..