Fire-Safe Cigarettes Appeared in Europe
EU countries supported the initiative of Meglena Kuneva, European Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, that all cigarettes of EU must become “fire-safe”. Kuneva proposed to oblige absolutely all manufacturers to produce “safe” cigarettes from the new paper with a special structure, which would interfere with the normal circulation of oxygen. In other words, the cigarette must extinguish if a smoker does not inhale for a few seconds. A project was presented in 2008. It took three years to come into force with all the changes in technology. Exact duration depended on how quickly the manufacturers of “safe” paper and tobacco would be able to build and reconfigure their facilities.
The secret of such cigarettes (Fire-Safe Cigarettes) consisted in applied bands (two or three) of non-porous paper, a kind of “speed bumps” : when the fire comes to these bands, the cigarette is extinguished after about 2 minutes.
“It’s very good news. This innovation will save lives”, said then Arlene McCarthy, British Euro MP. “Sometimes people come home drunk and fall asleep on the couch with a cigarette in their hand, and then as you know – a fire starts.” Safely burning cigarettes significantly reduced the risk of such incidents.
Arlene McCarthy also reported that smokers would not feel the differences between the Fire-Safe Cigarettes and ordinary cigarettes. However, “fire-safe” cigarettes will cost more – the bands will add half a percent of their price.
According to official statistics, in Europe approximately 2,000 people die every year in fire condition caused by cigarettes. 7,500 people receive burns and wounds. Therefore, the Europeans had decided to follow the example of New York, which first imposed legislatively standards of “safe” cigarettes, and of eight other states, decided together with Canada to adopt similar measures. Australia also considered a similar law.
Russian authorities regularly declare the need for more strict tobacco control measures. During time in power of Vladimir Putin, Parliament has already passed two anti-smoking laws, but their implementation in practice is inefficient, and cigarettes in Russia are one of the cheapest. In Russia, tobacco is the most common bad habit – 65% men and 30% of women are smokers. Smokers themselves believe that the adoption of additional tobacco control measures would violate their civil rights and liberty.
According to the deputy chairman of the State Duma committee on Health Protection, academician Nikolai Gerasimenko, Russia ranked first in the world for the consumption of tobacco products per head and growth rates of smoking, as well as on youth smoking. Almost a third of adult Russians suffer from tobacco addiction. In this case, the percentage of smokers among men is an absolute majority (52%), but only one in seven of women (14%) can not live without cigarettes.
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