22 September 2008

Mandatory Safety Standard For Reduced Fire Risk Cigarettes


Joint Press Release with
The Hon Robert McClelland MP
Attorney General

The Consumer Affairs Minister, Chris Bowen MP and Attorney-General, Robert McClelland MP today announced a mandatory standard for manufactured cigarettes.

The Trade Practices regulations include new requirements that will help reduce injuries and property damage from fires caused by smouldering cigarettes.

“Cigarette caused fires cost Australia in excess of $100 million each year – not to mention the injuries and deaths that result from carelessly discarded cigarettes,” Mr Bowen said.

“Reduced fire risk cigarettes will be just that – reduced fire risk– and smokers will need to continue to dispose of their cigarettes and ash carefully.

“Cigarettes will be subject to performance standards and a testing regime which will reduce the likelihood of inadvertent fires occurring when smouldering cigarettes are left near combustible materials.”

The new Regulations require all cigarettes manufactured or imported after March 2010 to comply with stringent new requirements.

"This is another example of cooperative federalism," Mr McClelland said.

“The Rudd Government recognises the role of NSW Premier Nathan Rees in putting this issue on the national agenda at the April meeting of Australia’s Police and Emergency Management Ministers.”

"The new cigarette requirements have been introduced at the request of this Ministerial Council, in response to unnecessary bushfires occurring during Australia’s prolonged drought."

"The Rudd Government is urging tobacco companies to comply with the new requirements without delay.”

The new Regulations will be enforced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which will be working with industry stakeholders to ensure that cigarettes complying with the new standard will be provided to consumers as soon as possible.

22 September 2008