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Consumers: EU move to reduce cigarette-ignited fires to save hundreds of lives each year
Cigarettes left unattended are one of the leading causes of fatal fires in Europe. Evidence shows that the number of fatalities can be reduced by over 40% with the introduction of 'Reduced Ignition Propensity' (RIP) cigarettes i.e. cigarettes which self-extinguish when left unattended and are less likely to cause fire. This safety measure is already in place in some countries: US, Canada, Australia and, in the EU in Finland since April 2010.
All cigarettes sold in Europe will have to comply with the new safety standards oce they are published in the EU Official Journal as from 17 Nov. 2011. National authorities will be enforcing this new fire safety measure.
Commissioner Dalli said: "There is no such thing as a safe cigarette , and obviously, the safest thing is not to smoke at all! But if people choose to smoke then the new standards which are about to fully enter into force will require tobacco companies to make only reduced ignition propensity cigarettes, and potentially protect hundreds of citizens from this fire hazard".