A Fire Standard Compliant Cigarette (FSC) is designed to self-extinguish if left unattended or if it is not actively being smoked. A FSC reduces the burning time before the cigarette is able to ignite furniture or bedding material.
The most common fire-safe technology used by cigarette manufacturers is to wrap cigarettes with two or three thin bands of less-porous paper that act as “speed bumps” to slow down a burning cigarette. If a fire-safe cigarette is left unattended, the burning tobacco will reach one of these speed bumps and self-extinguish.
Minnesota Fire Standard Compliant Cigarette Program Statute
For the Minnesota Fire Service
The Minnesota FSC cigarette law went into effect Dec. 1, 2008.
Manufacturers must provide written certification that FSC cigarettes meet all performance standards in accordance with MS 299F.851 and must pay a $250 certification fee per brand style of cigarette certified. Fees are payable to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
Cigarettes submitted for certification must be described by:
Brand or trade name on the package
Style, such as light or ultra light
Length in millimeters
Circumference in millimeters
Flavor, such as menthol or chocolate, if applicable
Filter or non-filter
Package description, such as soft pack or box
Marking approved in accordance with section MS 299F.853
Name, address, and telephone number of the laboratory, if different than the manufacturer that conducted the test
Date the testing occurred
Application for Initial and Renewal of Certification
Online Application for Certification
Initial and renewal applications for Fire Standard Compliant Cigarette (FSC) certification are now being accepted online at the manufacturer's Fire Standard Compliant Cigarette Program portal. First time users will need to create an account to access this portal. Following the instructions for "New User". An email authorizing access will be generated, usually within 24 hours, following new user approval.
Testing and Package Marking
Fire standard compliant testing must have occurred within three years of the initial certification submission date. Certifications are valid for three years from the date the certification was submitted. Manufacturers must re-certify each brand style of cigarette, and pay a $250 certification fee, every three years.
Manufacturers must provide the State Fire Marshal with a copy of the proposed package marking for FSC cigarettes. Once the proposed marking is approved, the manufacturer must provide wholesalers and distributors with a copy of the package marking.
Manufacturers must retain copies of the reports of all tests conducted on all cigarettes offered for sale for the previous three years and make copies available upon request from the State Fire Marshal, Commissioner of Revenue or the Attorney General.
Wholesalers and distributors
Wholesalers and distributors have been required since Dec. 1, 2008, to ship fire-standard compliant cigarettes to all Minnesota retailers.
The law states that wholesalers and distributors may house non-compliant cigarettes that are or will be stamped for sale in another state or are packaged for sale outside the United States if reasonable measures have been taken to ensure that non-compliant cigarettes will not be sold in Minnesota.
Wholesalers and distributors must provide, to each of the retailers to which the wholesale dealer or distributor sells cigarettes, a copy of the fire standard compliant package marking that they received from the manufacturer.
Wholesalers and distributors must allow representatives of the State Fire Marshal Division, the Commissioner of Revenue, and the Attorney General to inspect the records and stocks of cigarettes sold by wholesalers and distributors.
Since Dec. 1, 2008, all cigarettes sold in Minnesota must be certified fire standard compliant.
Retailers must allow representatives of the State Fire Marshal Division, Commissioner of Revenue, and the Attorney General to inspect the records and stocks of cigarettes sold in their establishment.
FSC cigarette packs, cartons and cases must be identified with a printed, stamped, engraved, or embossed "FSC" marking at or around the area of the UPC code to indicate compliance with the FSC law.
Herbal cigarettes do not need to be certified unless the cigarette contains any quantity of tobacco.
The cigarettes you purchase are FSC compliant if the package or carton displays the letters "FSC" located at or around the area of the UPC code on each cigarette package or carton.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health study, there is no evidence that FSC cigarettes are any more toxic than their conventional counterparts.
There may be a reduced availability of a small number of older brands and brand styles due to the FSC cigarette regulations.
The establishment of Minnesota's FSC program is not an anti-smoking campaign. The State Fire Marshal Division's primary concern is fire safety and preventing deaths, injury and property loss due to cigarette ignited fires.
Safe Smoking Practices
WHEREVER YOU SMOKE, USE DEEP, STURDY ASHTRAYS
– Ashtrays should be set on something sturdy and hard to ignite, like a table. Never put ashtrays on a sofa or chair.
MAKE SURE CIGARETTE AND ASHES ARE OUT — Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in a trash can.
CHECK FOR BUTTS — If people are smoking in the home, check for cigarette butts under cushions. Chairs and sofas can ignite and burn fast.
NEVER SMOKE IN A HOME WHERE OXYGEN IS USED — Never smoke while using oxygen or anywhere near an oxygen source, even if it is turned off.
KEEP YOUR BUTTS IN YOUR CAR — Tossing a cigarette out a car window can cause wild land fires that can put people, homes and animals in danger. Use personal ashtrays or car ashtrays when driving.