Reduced Ignition Propensity Cigarette Program

Also known as the

Alaska Fire Safe Cigarette Law

Program Overview

The Alaska Reduced Ignition Propensity (Fire Safe) cigarette program provides industry regulation by requiring cigarette manufacturers to certify that a cigarette variety has been tested and meets the fire safety standard as having reduced ignition propensity and assists them in meeting state requirements through technical assistance and program materials.

Dates of Implementation

The bill signed into law July 18, 2007. The effective date for implementation was August 1, 2008. Cigarettes bought and stamped prior to the effective date of the legislation may continue to be sold until existing stock is sold providing inventory does not exceed prior year inventories.

Testing Requirements for Certification

Cigarette varieties must be tested using the ASTM International specification E2187-04, Standard Test Method for Measuring the Ignition Strength of Cigarettes.

  1. Testing must be conducted on 10 layers of filter paper.
  2. Forty replicate tests shall constitute a complete test trial for each cigarette variety tested.
  3. For a cigarette variety to be declared to have reduced ignition propensity, no more than 25 percent of the cigarettes in a complete test trial conducted in accordance with an ignition propensity testing method described in this section shall exhibit full-length burns.
  4. A cigarette listed in a certification under section 2 of this 2007 act using lowered permeability bands in the cigarette paper to achieve compliance with the fire safety performance standard described in subsection (6) of this section must have:
    1. At least two nominally identical bands on the paper surrounding the tobacco column.
    2. If the bands are not positioned on the cigarette by design, at least one complete band must be at least 15 millimeters from the lighting end of the cigarette.
    3. If the bands are positioned on the cigarette by design, the cigarette must have at least two bands that are entirely located at least 15 millimeters from the lighting end.
    4. If the cigarette is filtered, that are located at least 10 millimeters from the filter end of the tobacco column.
    5. If the cigarette is nonfiltered, that are located at least 10 millimeters from the labeled end of the tobacco column.

The laboratory that conducts ignition propensity testing for purposes of section 2 of this 2007 act must have a quality control and assurance program. The program shall be designed to ensure the testing repeatability value for all test trials used to certify a cigarette variety. The repeatability value of ignition propensity testing may not be greater than 0.19.

Alternative Test Methods

  1. If the State Fire Marshal determines that cigarettes cannot be tested by a test method established in AS 18.74.030(a), a manufacturer of the cigarettes shall propose an alternative test method and performance standard for the cigarettes to the state fire marshal. On approval of the proposed test method and a determination by the state fire marshal that the performance standard proposed by the manufacturer is equivalent to the performance standard prescribed by AS 18.74.030(d), the manufacturer may employ the proposed alternative test method and performance standard to certify the cigarette under AS 18.74.080.
  2. Unless the state fire marshal demonstrates a reasonable basis why the alternative test method should not be accepted under this chapter, the state fire marshal shall authorize a manufacturer to use an alternative test method and performance standard to certify cigarettes for sale in this state if the state fire marshal.
    1. determines that another state has enacted reduced cigarette ignition propensity standards that include a test method and performance standard that are the same as those contained in this chapter; and
    2. finds that the officials responsible for implementing those requirements have approved a proposed alternative test method and performance standard for particular cigarettes proposed by a manufacturer as meeting the fire safety standards of that state's law under a legal provision comparable to this section.
  3. All other applicable requirements of this chapter apply to the manufacturer of the cigarettes tested under this section.

Brand Certification Requirements

Manufacturers shall submit a written certification attesting that each variety of cigarette listed in the certification has been subjected to ignition propensity testing and meets the fire safety performance standard. The certification shall provide the following information for each variety of cigarette listed:

  1. Brand name shown on the cigarette packaging.
  2. Style, such as light or ultralight.
  3. Length in millimeters.
  4. Circumference in millimeters.
  5. Flavor, such as menthol or chocolate, if applicable.
  6. Whether the cigarette is filtered or nonfiltered.
  7. Packaging description, such as soft pack or box.
  8. Description of the packaging marking approved by the State Fire Marshal.
  9. Name, address and telephone number of the laboratory conducting the ignition propensity testing, if other than the laboratory of the manufacturer.
  10. Date of the ignition propensity testing.

The certification of a cigarette variety is valid for three years from the effective date of the legislation effective date or three years from initial submittal after the date of receipt and payment of the certification fee for each brand style to be sold in Alaska. Payment is to be made to the State of Alaska and sent to the State Fire Marshal with the certification application and testing data.

If a manufacturer certifies a cigarette variety and later makes any change that is likely to alter the cigarette varietys compliance with the fire safety performance standard, before distributing the changed cigarette variety in Alaska, the manufacturer shall retest the ignition propensity of the variety.

Packaging Marking Approval

  1. Before submitting a certification of a cigarette under AS 18.74.080, a manufacturer shall present its proposed packaging marking to the state fire marshal for approval. The state fire marshal shall approve or disapprove the proposed packaging marking. Proposed packaging marking shall be considered approved if the state fire marshal fails to act within 10 business days after receiving a request for approval.
  2. Notwithstanding AS 18.74.130, the state fire marshal shall give a preference to proposed packaging marking for a cigarette that is in use and approved for the cigarette under the fire safety standards for cigarettes established by the law of the state of New York, unless the state fire marshal demonstrates a reasonable basis why the proposed packaging marking should not be approved under this chapter.
  3. Notwithstanding AS 18.74.130, the state fire marshal shall approve the use of the letters "FSC" for "fire standards compliant" on proposed packaging marking to indicate that the cigarettes comply with the performance standard in AS 18.74.030(d) or an alternative performance standard under AS 18.74.040.
  4. A manufacturer may not change its approved packaging marking unless the state fire marshal has approved the modification under this section.
  5. A wholesale dealer, an agent, and a retail dealer shall permit the state fire marshal, the department, the attorney general, and the employees of those persons to inspect packaging markings of cigarettes.

Marking of Cigarette Packaging

  1. The packaging containing a brand and style of cigarette that a manufacturer certifies under AS 18.74.080 must be marked to indicate compliance with the requirements of this chapter. The packaging marking must be in eight-point type or larger and consist of:
    1. a modification of the universal product code to include a visible mark printed at or around the area of the code; the mark may consist of alphanumeric or symbolic characters and must be permanently stamped, engraved, embossed, or printed in conjunction with the universal product code;
    2. any visible combination of alphanumeric or symbolic characters permanently stamped, engraved, or embossed on the package or wrapping; or
    3. printed, stamped, engraved, or embossed text on the cigarette package that indicates that the cigarettes satisfy the requirements of this chapter.
  2. A manufacturer shall use only one packaging marking and apply that packaging marking uniformly to all packaging and to all brands marketed by the manufacturer for sale in this state.

Certification Fee

A certification fee of $250 is required for each style (i.e., 100s, Lights, Menthol) within each brand family.

Penalties for Violations

  1. A manufacturer, a wholesale, dealer, an agent, or another person who knowingly sells or offers to sell cigarettes other than through retail sale and in violation of AS 18.74.010 is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed:
    1. $10,000 for a first violation;
    2. $25,000 for each violation that is not a first violation.
  2. A retail dealer who knowingly sells or offers to sell cigarettes in violation of AS 18.74.010 is subject, for each sale or offer to sell, to a civil penalty not to exceed:
    1. $500 for a first violation in which the total number of cigarettes sold or offered for sale does not exceed 1,000 cigarettes;
    2. $2,000 for each violation that is not a first violation and in which the total number of cigarettes sold or offered for sale does not exceed 1,000 cigarettes;
    3. $1,000 for a first violation in which the total number of cigarettes sold or offered for sale exceeds 1,000 cigarettes;
    4. $5,000 for a violation that is not a first violation and in which the total number of cigarettes sold or offered for sale exceeds 1,000 cigarettes.
  3. The penalties against one manufacturer, wholesale dealer, agent, or other person may not exceed $100,000 for violations occurring during a 30-day period; or one retail dealer may not exceed $25,000 for violations occurring during a 30-day period.
  4. In addition to any other penalty prescribed by law, a person engaged in the manufacture of cigarettes who knowingly makes a false certification under AS 18.74.080 is subject to a civil penalty of at least $75,000 for a first violation and a civil penalty not exceeding $250,000 for each violation that is not a first violation.
  5. A manufacturer who fails to make copies of reports available under AS 18.74.070 within 60 days after receiving a written request from the state fire marshal or the attorney general is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for each day after the 60th day that the manufacturer does not make the copies available.
  6. If a person violates a provision of this chapter and a civil penalty is not set for the violation, the person is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for a first violation and a civil penalty not exceeding $5,000 for each violation that is not a first violation.

Alaska Fire Safe Cigarette Law Information and Forms:

Send certification and payment to the attention of:

Kelly Nicolello, Director
5700 E. Tudor Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99507
Phone: (907) 269-5491
Fax: (907) 338-4375