All states have enacted laws requiring cigarettes to meet certain fire standards for self-extinguishing when not being smoked. The laws require cigarettes to exhibit a greater likelihood of self-extinguishing using a prescribed laboratory test method developed by ASTM International (formerly, the American Society for Testing and Materials). These cigarettes are known as Fire Standards Compliant (FSC) cigarettes. It is important to note:
- Philip Morris USA manufactures only FSC cigarettes.
- FSC cigarettes are not “fire-safe”. Anything that burns, if handled carelessly, can cause a fire.
- FSC cigarettes should be handled and disposed of properly, just like all cigarettes.
- FSC cigarettes are labeled with the term “FSC” on the pack above the UPC code.
- State laws generally contain provisions permitting the sale of non-FSC cigarettes that have been tax stamped by wholesalers and retailers in the state prior to the effective date of the state’s FSC law.
PM USA uses cigarette paper technology known as banded cigarette paper to comply with the performance standard in the FSC laws. The idea behind this technology is that the cigarette is more likely to self-extinguish. As a result, FSC cigarettes may extinguish unexpectedly when unattended.
About PM USA’s banded paper:
- All of PM USA’s cigarettes use banded paper.
- These bands act like "speed bumps" (by decreasing the flow of oxygen through the paper to the burning tobacco) to slow down the rate at which the cigarette burns as the lit end crosses over them.
- Bands applied to the cigarette paper only use ingredients that were also used when PM USA manufactured non-FSC cigarettes.
- FSC cigarettes do not use fire-retardant chemicals in order to meet state fire standards.