Smokers, already upset with the ban on lighting up in bars and restaurants, are now complaining about another state law. After the first of the year, Iowa tobacco retailers are required to sell only fire-safe cigarettes.
Retailers, such as the Smoke Shop on the east side of Des Moines, have been stocking the cigarettes equipped with fire retardant for about three months, gradually getting rid of their old supplies of regular smokes. Manager Casey Kritchard says the cigarettes are designed to go out on their own to prevent accidental fires.
"There’s been a lot of complaints on the cigarette because if you do sit it down on an ashtray it goes out in thirty seconds, so you’re constantly having to relight your cigarettes," Kritchard said. She expects an increase in sales of roll-your-own products, which are exempt from the new law.
While both varieties remain on the shelves, Kritchard spends some time each day rummaging through supplies locating the old regular cigarettes for customers who don’t like the new ones. Some cigarette makers now offer only the fire-safe brands.
"Due to the fact that a lot of the states are requiring the fire-safe cigarettes, instead of the companies shipping out two different blends, they’ve all gone to the fire-safe cigarettes," Kritchard said. Kritchard, a smoker herself, says she dislikes the flavor of the thicker paper.