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ST. PAUL, Minn. – It was a long time coming, but more than 20 years after its creation, a law requiring the sale of reduced ignition propensity cigarettes in the state went into effect this week, area television station KARE reported.
"We thought it was a simple idea and a major life saving issue," Senator John Marty, who in 1987 co-authored a bill for fire-safe cigarettes, told the television station.
If cigarettes stopped burning on their own, the number of fires and careless smoking deaths would be reduced, he said.
"It's the No. 1 cause of fire deaths in Minnesota, and if its 15 [deaths] on average, over 20 years, that's 300 people who have died in the years that we have been fighting for this, many of whom would have been prevented," Marty told the station.
Minnesota is the 17th state to enact a fire-safe cigarette law, while another 19 states have passed legislation, according to the report.