Last Friday a state law took effect that requires stores to only sell "fire-safe" cigarettes, which self-extinguish after after a few seconds of non-use. The goal of the law is to cut down the number of accidental house fires caused by lit cigarettes. In fact, according to the Michigan Fire Marshal’s Office, careless smoking has caused 319 fires in the state in 2008 alone. Moreover, those fires caused $8.4 million in damage, four people were killed, and seven firefighters and 26 civilians were injured. Nevertheless, some smokers are still dismayed over the fact that the new "fire-safe" cigarettes apparently taste different and burn holes in their clothes because of the new paper band "extinguisher".
Michigan is not the first state to adopt the "fire-safe" cigarette policy. Actually, 48 other states have already adopted the requirement. Furthermore, despite the complaints from some smokers, Lino T. Pretto at Lansing’s Smoke House II Discount Tobacco Center doesn’t think most of his customers will stop smoking. Instead, he sees more of his customers rolling their own cigarettes, but not only becasue of the alleged "bad taste" of the new cigarettes. Rather, many of his customers complain that the new cigarettes are too expensive.
While the Michigan Fire Marshal’s Office may be hopeful about the new law’s ability to prevent accidental house fires, others aren’t as convinced. For example, Detroit Arson Lt. Joseph Crandall doesn’t expect a major impact from the new cigarettes on the number of smoking-related fires. Perhaps the best lesson smokers can come away with is to enjoy your cigarettes safely and don’t leave them lit and unattended–it could mean losing your home, or worse.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.