New "Fire Safe" Cigarettes hit Georgia, Alabama

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A big change coming in the new year for Georgia and Alabama residents deals with cigarettes.

New "fire safe paper" will become mandatory, though most manufacturers have already made the switch.

It has met some criticism from smokers, according to tobacco store owner Velma Hartley.

"The reaction from our customers is they absolutely hate it. It causes sores in their mouth. They're coughing more," Hartley said.

The goal --- to prevent unattended butts from starting fires.

The new paper will extinguish itself, if left unattended.

"I don't know how many people fall asleep with a lit cigarette and catch their house on fire. I think more people drink and have accidents in their car, rather than smoke and have an accident," Hartley said.

The change to "fire safe paper" has already taken place in 38 states.

Though, Georgia and Alabama retailers should have the product on their shelves tomorrow.

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