Fire-safe cigarettes, also known as reduced ignition propensity cigarettes, are designed to stop burning when left unattended. Under a Montana law passed by the 2007 Legislature, all cigarettes sold or offered for sale in Montana must meet the same criteria for fire-safe cigarettes as in New York State. The law went into effect May 1, 2008.
The law is designed to save lives by reducing the risk that cigarettes will ignite upholstered furniture, mattresses, household furnishings and other combustible material. According to nationwide statistics from the National Fire Protection Association, roughly one in four fire-related deaths is caused by smoking materials.
Fire-safe cigarettes cost the same and have the same characteristics as other cigarettes. The law contains provisions for stores to sell their existing inventory of cigarettes.
For additional information, see the Cigarette Standards Report to the 2011 Legislature (PDF) or contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Before cigarettes can be sold or offered for sale in Montana, cigarette manufacturers must submit:
- test certification demonstrating that their cigarettes meet the fire safety requirements in accordance with ASTM E2187-04 Standard Test Method for Measuring the Ignition Strength of Cigarettes or, for any cigarette that cannot be tested under ASTM E2187-04, in accordance with Section 50-65-102(4)(a) of the Montana Code Annotated, and
- the required information on package marking.
Each cigarette style certified for sale in Montana must be re-certified every three years.
Once a cigarette is certified, the manufacturer is required to provide:
- a copy of the certification to all wholesale dealers and agents to whom it sells cigarettes
- sufficient copies of an illustration of the package marking used for each retail dealer to whom the wholesalers or agents sell cigarettes
To sell or offer to sell cigarettes in Montana, the cigarettes must be listed on the Directory of Fire-Safe Cigarette Approved for Sale in Montana and also comply with the provisions related to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement for listing on the Tobacco Directory.
All packaging for fire-safe cigarettes approved for sale in Montana must be marked in accordance with MCA 50-65-104. A manufacturer may use only one marking and that marking must be uniformly applied on all packages, including but not limited to, packs, cartons and cases of cigarettes marketed by that manufacturer. The marking must be in a font of at least eight-point type and consist of:
- modification of the universal product code to include a visible mark printed at or around the area of the code. The mark may consist of alphanumeric or symbolic characters permanently stamped, engraved, embossed or printed in conjunction with the code;
- any visible combination of alphanumeric or symbolic characters permanently stamped, engraved or embossed upon the cigarette package or cellophane wrap; or
- stamped, engraved, embossed or printed text that indicates that the cigarettes meet the required standards.
Montana law requires that the Department of Revenue approve any marking in use and approved in accordance with New York’s fire safety standards for cigarettes. However, manufacturers that intend to use a New York marking in Montana are still required to submit this marking to the Department of Revenue for approval.
Send proposed markings and a letter requesting approval to:
Jim McKeon, Miscellaneous Tax Program Manager
P.O. Box 5805
Helena, MT 59604-5805
Testing Certification Process
To obtain approval to sell fire-safe cigarettes in Montana, submit the following information to the State Fire Marshal:
- a cover letter identifying the cigarette manufacturer and the manufacturer’s contact person
- a list of all brands and styles of cigarettes the manufacturer wishes to certify as fire safe in Montana
- written certification attesting that each cigarette listed has been tested in accordance with MCA 50-65-102 and meets the performance standard in MCA 50-65-102 (2)(c) that “No more than 25% of the cigarettes tested in a test trial in accordance with this section may exhibit full-length burns. Forty replicate tests compose a complete test trial for each cigarette used.”
- for each cigarette listed in the certification, a description including:
- brand and style
- length in millimeters and circumference in millimeters
- flavor, if applicable
- filter or non-filter
- package description, such as soft pack or box
- the package marking approved by the Montana Department of Revenue under MCA 50-65-104
- the name, address and telephone number of the laboratory, if different from the manufacturer, that conducted the test
- the date testing occurred
- payment of the $250 fee for each cigarette style listed in the certification
The State Fire Marshal must receive the information on the package marking approved by the Department of Revenue and test certification under ASTM E2187-04.
Test certification for any cigarette that cannot be tested under ASTM E2187-04 must be proposed in accordance with Section 50-65-102(4)(a) of the Montana Code Annotated.
Send all information to:
State Fire Marshal, Allen Lorenz
2225 11th Ave
P.O. Box 201415
Helena, MT 59601-1415