Monday, 19 April 2010

Fire risk standard compliant cigarettes burn poorly and make the cigarette taste bad but use of a retardant mechanism (the "lowered permeability bands" that thicken the paper toward the middle of the cigarette) has been legislated for the past 18 months, although mandated for use only now. As a result, the cigarette smoker has a choice between putting up with the bad taste, switching to rollies, or giving the stick the flick completely.

I called Philip Morris to complain of the taste and the customer service rep told me others had also been calling the company. When I suggested collecting all the complaints and passing them to the government, she fobbed me off by pointing me to my local member's complaint's box. Philip Morris is not going to get involved in customers' "personal" issues.

She told me a lot of stuff that I'd already learned by visiting my tobacconist. Clearly, the company has advised staff to resist customer requests for action on their behalf.

The Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standard) (Reduced Fire Risk Cigarettes) Regulations 2008 incorporate Australian Standard 4830—2007 that prevents cigarettes from burning if left unattended. To bolster its move, the NSW Minister for Emergency Services, Steve Whelan, put out a press release a month ago to notify people of the change. It was not reported in the press, as far as I know.

The move is in response to the "4500" fires in Australia caused by cigarettes every year. Between 2000 and 2005 apparently 77 people were killed by cigarettes.

It seems a no-brainer.

But smokers need to be aware that this law was passed in silence and introduced in obscurity. I only noticed it because of the disgusting taste my cigarette produces. My loss, right?

Pic credit: Breitbart TV.


Anonymous said...

I am totally disgusted with these new 'compliant' cigarettes. Broken glass from beer bottles would cause more fires than cigarettes.
Pity they didnt realize that people have to draw harder on the cigarette to smoke it (when they actually burn that is)are actually getting more tar than normal and are likely to smoke the cig to the end just to get a normal fix.
Technically they have made the cigarette more inconvenient to smoke and i am really annoyed that there was no public consultation (prob because it wouldnt have got through right?)
Plus put on the new taxes and we are obviously being persecuted. So much for the Democracy huh? I guess we really do live in a socialist country.
Guess soon they will make us wear patches on our coats identifying us out to the 'better people'

Oh well guess there is nothing we can do except buy our cigarettes from other countries that have democratic rights.

Matt da Silva said...

Yes, I think they placed such a long 'lead-time' on implementation to take the sting out of the legislation. Must admit, however, I don't recall any noise at the time (2008). I think it shows how negative is the perception of smoking, in the community.

Anonymous said...

Ya know, I really don't understand why the gubmint is so interested in banning smoking, they NEVER do anything in advance (ie forethought) always in retrospect, except for taxes. Now they're going out of their way to make it unpalatable. Is there something about tobacco that'll become apparent after it's illegal or is it just another choice removal? The only issue is my refusal to believe that beaurocracy has a smokers' best interests as important, collectively they aren't smart or farsighted enough. Oh well, guess I'll have t wait a while untill the dirty tricks and laundry get hung out, years maybe...