Vermont to Sell Self-Extinguishing Cigarettes

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Vermont to Sell Self-Extinguishing Cigarettes

MONTPELIER, Vt.--Vermont next week will become the second state to require cigarettes sold in the state to be less likely to cause fires, reported the Associated Press.

Following New York, the state legislature last year passed a law that requires all stores to sell cigarettes that meet fire safety standards, according to report.

"It's one important way we can save lives in Vermont," Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, which lobbied for the change, told AP. "We would expect that these cigarettes would reduce the incidence of tobacco-related fires in the state."

Vermont stores will be allowed to sell their inventory of regular cigarettes before switching to the new kind, reported AP.

"I don't really think it's going to end up to be a huge issue on the retail end," Jim Harrison, president of the Vermont Grocers' Association, said in the report.

Terry Shannon, who owns Meadow Mart in Montpelier, Vt. told AP he has no problem selling the new cigarettes. But he said some customers have complained about what he's already started to sell. "They have to keep relighting them," he said.

When the law went into effect in New York, retailers feared that smokers wouldn't like the taste or characteristics of the new cigarettes and would be driven to buy them online or in other states, according to the report.

Cigarette-maker R.J. Reynolds has opposed the legislation but said in the report it would follow the guidelines.

Since Vermont passed its law, California has followed with a law that will go into effect in January. Canada became the first country to sell the cigarettes in October 2005 and a similar bill has been sent to the governor in Illinois.