Cigarettes Sold in California Must Be Self-extinguishing

Since January 1, 2007, the California Cigarette Fire Safety and Firefighter Protection Act (Act) allows only cigarettes certified and marked by the manufacturer as self-extinguishing to be sold in California. Manufacturers must certify to the State Fire Marshal that the cigarettes meet testing and performance standard requirements of the American Society of Testing and Materials. The Act was passed to reduce the number of fires caused by burning cigarettes, which are the leading cause of fire deaths in the U.S.

Distributors, wholesalers, retailers, or others who knowingly sell or offer to sell cigarettes not in compliance with the law could face civil penalties of up to $1,000 for each violation. Manufacturers are subject to penalties of up to $10,000 for violation of the Act.

The Act does not prohibit the sale of cigarettes that do not meet the fire safety standards if the cigarettes are or will be stamped or metered for sale in another state or are packaged for sale outside the United States.

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) inspectors may enter any place where cigarettes are sold, offered for sale, or stored and, upon showing CDTFA-issued identification, can inspect cigarette packs to check for the "FSC" marking that indicates that the "self-extinguishing" cigarette requirements are met. They can also review your purchase and sales invoices to see whether those invoices reconcile with your inventory. Inspectors can cite and seize cigarette packages that are not marked or do not meet testing and performance standards. Persons who do not allow an inspection could face a civil penalty up to $1,000.

For more information, contact our Customer Service Center, 1-800-400-7115.