WASHINGTON, D.C. - Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Representative King (R-NY) released the following statement applauding California’s passage of cigarette fire safety legislation and calling for the swift passage of H.R. 1850, legislation that Rep. Markey and Rep. King introduced to create a national standard based on the New York and California laws.

“Today marks an important new milestone in the fight for fire safety. If manufacturers can make and market less fire prone cigarettes for sale in both New York and California, then they should make them for the entire country. Just as consumers would not tolerate
the automobile industry selling cars with air bags and seat belts in New York and California and cars without those protections everywhere else, consumers will not tolerate tobacco companies to sell safer cigarettes in New York and California and more
dangerous cigarettes everywhere else. I believe that the time for a national cigarette fire safety standard is approaching. Each state that adopts this standard, adds to the call for a national cigarette fire safety standard,” said Rep. Markey.

Rep. King said, “Far too often innocent children, senior citizens, and firefighters risk their lives every day rushing into cigarette ignited fires. To prevent this and save thousands of lives, New York cannot be the only state. We must set a reasonable, national
ignition standard for cigarettes. This legislation will do just that.”

The bipartisan Cigarette Fire Safety Act of 2005 (H.R. 1850) has been endorsed by the American Burn Association, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the Congressional Fire Services Institute, the International Association of Arson Investigators, the
International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the National Association of State Fire Marshals, the National Fire Protection Association, the National Volunteer Fire Council, The City of New York Department of Metal Health and Hygiene, and the Trauma Foundation.

October 7, 2005
 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness
Kate Reinhalter