ACCC acts on fire-hazard cigarettes

The ACCC has accepted court-enforceable undertakings from both Philip Morris and Zen Sensation not to supply cigarettes that do not meet the mandatory reduced-fire-risk safety standard.

Cigarettes sold in Australia must meet the mandatory safety standard to self-extinguish when left unattended. Before the reduced-fire-risk standard was adopted, discarded cigarettes and related products started more than 4,500 fires and killed an average of 14 people each year.

“In the bushfire-prone Australian environment, and with the significant risk of injury and damage from fires, all manufacturers and importers of cigarettes must have stringent internal controls in place to ensure that their products comply with the reduced-fire-risk standard,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

An ACCC survey of compliance in the marketplace detected the unsafe cigarettes supplied by Zen between October 2013 and July 2015. Following contact from the ACCC, Zen began a voluntary recall of these cigarettes.

Philip Morris self-reported its supply of non-compliant cigarettes to the ACCC and initiated a voluntary recall in October last year after its test results confirmed the cigarettes did not comply with the reduced-fire-risk standard.

Philip Morris has also agreed to donate $300,000 to the NSW Rural Fire Service.

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