Fire safer cigarette bill signed into law

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By Carol A. Clark

Any entity that manufactures cigarettes to be sold in New Mexico must now make them self-extinguishable.

In nearly his final bill action from the 2009 Legislative session, Gov. Bill Richardson signed House Bill 70, the “Fire Safer Cigarette and Firefighter Protection Act,” into law Wednesday imposing stiff penalties on manufacturers who fail to comply.

This includes entities that produce or cause cigarettes to be produced for sale in New Mexico, including cigarettes to be sold here through an importer. The law also applies to retail dealers engaged in selling cigarettes.

Rep. Jeannette Wallace, R-Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Sandoval County sponsored the bill, which requires manufacturers to comply by Jan. 1, 2010.

Wallace explained in an earlier interview that she sponsored the bill because it’s already law in most other states, clearly indicating its importance.

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