After July 31, 2009, only fire-safe cigarettes may be sold or offered for sale in the State of Colorado, or sold or offered for sale to persons located in the State of Colorado. A fire-safe cigarette has a reduced propensity to burn when left unattended.
Senate Bill 08-026, the Reduced Cigarette Ignition Propensity Standards and Firefighter Protection Act (Act), is designed to save lives by reducing the risk that a cigarette will ignite mattresses, upholstered furniture, clothes, household furnishings and other combustible material.
The Act details specific testing and performance standards. Copies of reports of tests conducted on all cigarettes offered for sale must be made available to the Division of Fire Safety in the Department of Public Safety and to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).
Under the Act, each manufacturer must provide to the Division written certification that each cigarette listed in the certification meets the safety and performance standards of the act. The manufacturer must attest that each cigarette listed:
- has been tested in accordance with the Act’s testing provisions
- meets the performance standards set forth in the Act
For each cigarette listed in the certification, the manufacturer must provide the following information:
- brand and style
- length and circumference in millimeters
- filter or nonfilter
- package description
- name, address and telephone number of the laboratory that conducted the test, and
- the date testing occurred
The manufacturer must pay a fee of $1000 for each brand family listed in the certification.
- Cigarettes must be recertified every three years.
- The certifications must be made available to the OAG and the Department of Revenue (DOR).
Cigarettes that are certified by a manufacturer must be marked to indicate compliance with the requirements of the Act. The marking may be:
- any marking in use and approved for sale in New York or
- the letters “FSC” (fire standards compliant) permanently on the cigarette package at or near the UPC symbol.
All markings must be approved by the Division. Unmarked packages of cigarettes can be seized and destroyed.
Manufacturers must provide a copy of the certifications to all wholesale dealers and agents.
- They must provide enough copies of an illustration of their package marking for each retail dealer to whom the wholesale dealers or agents sell cigarettes.
- Wholesale dealers, agency and retail dealers must permit the Department, DOR and the OAG to inspect markings of cigarette packaging.
Wholesale and retail dealers may sell their existing inventory of cigarettes after July 31, 2009, if they can establish:
- that state tax stamps were affixed to the cigarettes before that date and
- that the inventory was purchased before that date in a comparable quantity to the inventory purchased during the same period in the immediately preceding period.
Manufacturers and distributors should be aware that certifying a cigarette as fire-safe does not certify it to be included in the Certified Brands Directory. Manufacturers still must comply with the TPM certification process if they want to sell a brand family in Colorado. See Information for Manufacturers.
Penalties for violating the Act include, among other things, civil penalties, forfeiture of noncompliant cigarettes and civil suit against the violator. The Act gives the OAG, DOR and the Division broad powers to enforce the Act.