Cigarettes in Oklahoma Become 'Fire Safe'

Wednesday, December 31st 2008, 6:38 pm
By: News 9

By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9

OKALHOMA CITY-- Every year, hundreds of people across the country die in fires caused by cigarettes. But a new law in Oklahoma hopes to make cigarettes more fire safe.

That new state law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2009. It requires cigarettes sold in Oklahoma to meet certain safety standards, but it's getting mixed reactions from smokers.

Kevyn Spence is a manager at Smokies, a discount tobacco store in Edmond. She's gotten a lot of feedback from customers, and as a smoker herself, she has her own opinions about the new cigarettes.

"Some people don't even notice, but some who have been smoking for years, they think they taste stale and don't like the fact they go out," the Smokies manager said.

Spence is talking about new fire safe cigarettes. If they're not puffed on, after being lit, they go out. Even though they're just now going becoming law, metro stores have been slowly stocking them for about two months.

"I had no idea why, but yes, I've noticed when you lie it down and go back to pick it back up its dead. You have to relight it. No clue, I just thought I was going off to leaving them longer than normal," 30 year smoker Stephanie Buzzard said.

Right now, only 11 states in the U.S. haven't filed legislation requiring fire safe cigarettes. The other 39 states either have filed legislation or the law is already in effect.

"Most often it's not the person who was smoking who's the victim of those fires. That's a common trend nationwide so we believe this fire safe cigarette law will help," Assistant Fire Marshall Chief Kellie Lee said.

Stores have a year to sell their existing inventory before facing fines once they law goes into effect.