Bill C-260 Fire Safe Cigarettes

December-09-02

John McKay MP

Source :  John McKay MP

Statistics from 1999 show that careless smoking accounted for 71 deaths, 2868 fires and a total of $336.5 million in damages in Canada . The technology to produce fire-safe cigarettes already exists, and could easily be implemented, but there is currently no requirement for the tobacco companies to make their product safer.

John McKay, Member of Parliament for Scarborough East, welcomes the recent decision by the House of Commons to refer his Private Member’s Bill C-260, An Act to amend the Hazardous Products Act (fire-safe cigarettes) to the Standing Committee on Health.

“I am very pleased with this development”, says Mr. McKay. “Many injuries and deaths, as well as millions of dollars in property damage, could be eliminated or substantially reduced by forcing tobacco companies to meet certain flammability standards. My Bill, now one step closer to becoming law, is intended to make this mandatory. By dealing with this important issue, Parliament will be fulfilling its duty to help protect the health and safety of its citizens.”

The State of New York took the lead on this issue in 2000, passing the first law in North America requiring fire-safe cigarettes. It will become effective next July. In McKay’s view, it is time for the Parliament of Canada to take similar action.

It is extremely rare for a Private Member’s Bill to make it this far into the parliamentary process. It is a testament to the importance of the issue and the strong measure of support among Members of Parliament of all parties, that the Bill has reached its current stage.

The Standing Committee on Health will examine the Bill early in the New Year, and is expected to report back to Parliament by the end of April.

For information contact:
Office of John McKay, M.P., Scarborough East,
(613) 992-1447