The Ministry of the Interior has confirmed a ban on cigarettes not considered “fire-safe” – those that do not extinguish themselves within two minutes of not being smoked after being lit.
The European Union put a law into effect last August which would make it illegal to sell cigarettes not considered fire-safe. Fire-safe cigarettes are able to burn out if they are not continuously puffed on after being lit. Older versions of cigarettes – which burn all the way down to the filter after being lit, whether being smoked or not – are no longer permitted for sale.
Iceland, as a part of the European Economic Area (EEA), is bound to follow this regulation, and RÚV now reports that the final say on the matter – the Ministry of the Interior – has made it official by Icelandic law.
The State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland (ÁTVR) earlier put in a request with The Consumer Agency to be allowed to sell off their old cigarettes first, but this request was denied. ÁTVR appealed the decision, which made its way to the ministry. The official response from the ministry was that it would be preferable for ÁTVR to simply halt the distribution of non-fire-safe cigarettes immediately.
Presumably, the old cigarettes will be destroyed, as they will not be available for sale.