Smokers Complain About Taste of ’Fire-Safe’ Cigarettes

    An increasing number of states have required that tobacco companies sell only fast-extinguishing cigarettes, but some smokers complain that the ’fire-safe’ smokes don’t taste good,
    MSNBC reported Jan. 27.

    The ’fire-safe’ cigarettes include bands of thick paper that resist burning if left unattended for more than five minutes. Research from New York — the first state to mandate the sale of ’fire-safe’ cigarettes — has found that only 10 percent of such cigarettes burn down to the filter if left unattended, compared to 99.8 percent of regular cigarettes.

    Within the last six years, 37 states and the District of Columbia have mandated sales of ’fire-safe’ cigarettes, and five other states are considering similar laws.

    “I do understand why they did it, as a safety precaution,” said smoker Katie West. However, she added, “The cigarettes don¹t taste near as good as they used to.”

    Some smokers claim the ’fire-safe’ cigarettes leave a coppery taste in their mouths, and also complain about having to relight the cigarettes. “If you’re not smoking on it regularly, like 30 to 35 seconds, it goes out pretty quick,” said Ron Calkins of Erie, Pa. “You have to light them every once in a while.”

    Some smokers have crossed state borders to buy the old style of cigarettes, but tobacco companies say they can’t afford to keep making both kinds, and predict that all cigarettes sold in the U.S. will be of the ’fire-safe’ variety by 2010.


    February 2009