Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106

02/09/2006 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 349(STA) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 413(STA) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HB 413-BURNING CAPABILITY OF CIGARETTES                                                                                       
8:09:12 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR GATTO  announced that the first order  of business was                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 413, "An  Act relating to the  burning capability                                                               
of  cigarettes being  sold, offered  for sale,  or possessed  for                                                               
sale; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                     
8:09:47 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   REGGIE   JOULE,    Alaska   State   Legislature,                                                               
testifying  as sponsor  of HB  413, said  the bill  would require                                                               
cigarette  companies to  change  the way  their cigarettes  burn,                                                               
which   in  turn   will  prevent   fires  caused   by  smoldering                                                               
cigarettes.  Currently, he said,  cigarettes are designed to burn                                                               
all the way  to the end when left unattended.   He indicated that                                                               
there was  some interest  in the  past to  have a  cigarette made                                                               
that  burned  more  slowly,  but  the  cigarette  companies  were                                                               
opposed to  the idea.  He  explained that the way  a cigarette is                                                               
made to  burn slowly is  by putting bands  in a couple  places on                                                               
the cigarette, the  effect of which is to cause  the cigarette to                                                               
slow its burning and then to "shut off."                                                                                        
8:13:21 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE said the State  of New York adopted this law                                                               
in 2000, and approximately 40  percent of the cigarette companies                                                               
have adapted  their product, thus  far.  Canada passed  a similar                                                               
law nationwide.   The  states of  Vermont and  California adopted                                                               
the law in  2005.  Representative Joule noted that  Alaska is one                                                               
of  several states  considering  this law;  currently Hawaii  and                                                               
Washington are also  discussing the possibility.   He stated that                                                               
the  technology already  exists.    Representative Joule,  having                                                               
previously admitted  to being a cigarette  smoker, suggested that                                                               
if there  is a cost associated  with the bill, perhaps  those who                                                               
smoke may be the  ones to carry some of the  cost.  He reiterated                                                               
that  the bill  is  about safety  and saving  lives.   If  Alaska                                                               
adopts this  legislation, he  said, it will  put pressure  on the                                                               
U.S. Congress to do the same.                                                                                                   
8:15:16 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAMRAS said  having  been born  in  Alaska he  is                                                               
aware of "the scarcity  of choice."  He said he  is not a smoker,                                                               
but wants to ensure that all  brands will be available under this                                                               
8:16:09 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOULE answered  that because  the technology  has                                                               
existed for a long time, he  thinks all brands would be available                                                               
once the requirement is mandated.                                                                                               
8:16:32 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN   asked  what  the  reaction   of  cigarette                                                               
manufacturers has been.                                                                                                         
8:16:51 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE offered his  understanding that the reaction                                                               
has been a mixed one.   He said he thinks Phillip Morris supports                                                               
the effort  now, but was  opposed to it  initially.  He  said, "I                                                               
think they might be seeing the tide change."                                                                                    
8:17:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CRAIG GOODRICH,  Fire Chief,  Municipality of  Anchorage; Member,                                                               
Fire Chiefs'  Association in Alaska,  testified in support  of HB
413.   In response to  Representative Ramras'  previous question,                                                               
he  said  the  cigarette  companies have  been  looking  for  and                                                               
expecting  this  legislation  for  some time.    Essentially,  he                                                               
explained, the  self-extinguishing cigarette is a  simple device.                                                               
He said it  is slightly smaller in circumference  and the tobacco                                                               
is more loosely  packed.  The additional band  of cigarette paper                                                               
that is  around it is called  a "speed bump."   He indicated that                                                               
there  are  a number  of  things  that can  be  done  to cause  a                                                               
cigarette  to  automatically  extinguish.     He  told  committee                                                               
members they could  expect to hear a lot of  testimony related to                                                               
the  number  of  fires,  injuries, and  deaths  that  occur  from                                                               
improperly discarded cigarettes.   Mr. Goodrich said Alaska could                                                               
expect between a  33-40 percent reduction in the  number of fires                                                               
started in  this manner  and, by extension,  the number  of lives                                                               
lost  would also  be reduced.   He  said there  are alternatives,                                                               
such as  having a mandatory zero-square-foot  ordinance; however,                                                               
it is an  expensive proposition.  He concluded  by expressing his                                                               
appreciation  of  the  committee's willingness  to  address  this                                                               
8:20:20 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ELKINS  asked if  a  chemical  is added  to  pipe                                                               
tobacco to make it stop burning.                                                                                                
8:20:37 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. GOODRICH answered  no, and he indicated that  the question to                                                               
ask  would  be what  companies  do  to  cigarettes to  keep  them                                                               
burning.  By engineering a cigarette  to burn down whether or not                                                               
it  is being  smoked, the  cigarette companies  make more  money.                                                               
The tobacco  companies were never  able to engineer  pipe tobacco                                                               
so that it would continue to burn completely down in the bowl.                                                                  
8:21:20 AM                                                                                                                    
JACK  KRILL,  Fire  Chief,  Central  Matanuska  Fire  Department,                                                               
testified in support  of HB 413.  He revealed  his background and                                                               
education in  fire protection  and safety  engineering.   He said                                                               
cigarettes  left  burning  are  a serious  fire  problem  in  the                                                               
nation.   He offered the following  facts about cigarette-ignited                                                               
fires:  Cigarettes  are the leading cause of fatal  home fires in                                                               
the U.S., representing 25 percent  of all fire deaths.  Annually,                                                               
approximately 1,000 people in the  U.S. die from fires started by                                                               
cigarettes, and an  additional 3,000 are injured.   More than 100                                                               
victims that die each year are  children and nonsmokers.  Two out                                                               
of five  fire victims are  65 years of  age or older.   Cigarette                                                               
ignited  fires cause  more  than $6  billion  in property  damage                                                               
every year;  in 1997 alone, there  were 130,000 cigarette-related                                                               
fires in the U.S.                                                                                                               
MR. KRILL  said Alaska has  a chance to change  those frightening                                                               
statistics  through  the  passage  of   HB  413.    The  proposed                                                               
legislation  would  save  lives  in Alaska  and  likely  lead  to                                                               
significant advances in public safety  throughout the country, he                                                               
said.   The bill would  require that all cigarettes  marketed and                                                               
sold in Alaska be fire-safe,  which he explained means they would                                                               
have  a reduced  propensity to  burn when  left unattended.   Mr.                                                               
Krill  explained  that  the typical  scenario  for  a  cigarette-                                                               
ignited fire  is the  delayed ignition  of furniture  or clothing                                                               
after a  signature has  been dropped or  forgotten by  a careless                                                               
8:24:40 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  KRILL echoed  the testimony  of Mr.  Goodrich regarding  the                                                               
design  changes that  make up  fire-safe cigarettes,  adding that                                                               
the paper used would be less  porous, and there would be no added                                                               
citrates  in the  paper.   He  related that  a recently  released                                                               
report out  of New York noted  that annual fire deaths  blamed on                                                               
cigarettes have fallen by one  third since that state's fire-safe                                                               
cigarette legislation went into effect.                                                                                         
8:25:31 AM                                                                                                                    
WARREN  B. CUMMINGS,  Fire Chief,  City of  Fairbanks; President,                                                               
Alaska  Fire Chiefs  Association (AFCA),  testified on  behalf of                                                               
the  129 members  of AFCA  in support  of HB  413.   The proposed                                                               
legislation, he  said, will prohibit  the sale,  manufacture, and                                                               
distribution of cigarettes  in Alaska that do not  meet the fire-                                                               
safe standards established by the  American Society of Testing of                                                               
Materials.   Mr. Cummings reported  that careless smoking  is the                                                               
leading  cause of  fire deaths  in  Alaska; the  fires caused  by                                                               
careless  smoking have  resulted in  27.6 [percent]  of all  fire                                                               
deaths  in Alaska  between 1995-2004,  killing 45  people in  the                                                               
state during that time period.                                                                                                  
8:27:39 AM                                                                                                                    
CAROL R. REED, President,  Alaska State Firefighters Association,                                                               
had  her written  testimony [included  in  the committee  packet]                                                               
presented  by  Michael Tilly.    The  testimony read  as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
     The  Alaska  State  Firefighters  Association  supports                                                                    
     House  Bill 413,  introduced  by Representative  Reggie                                                                    
     Joule, legislation relating to cigarette fire safety.                                                                      
     Cigarettes are the  [number] 1 cause of  fatal fires in                                                                    
     the U.S.,  taking 700 to  800 lives a year.   Annually,                                                                    
     property  losses from  fires caused  by cigarettes  run                                                                    
     into the hundreds of millions  of dollars.  Statistical                                                                    
     data of  fire-related death  in Alaska  parallels those                                                                    
     of the U.S.                                                                                                                
     The State  of New  York introduced  similar legislation                                                                    
     in  2004.     Although   it  is   too  early   to  draw                                                                    
     conclusions,  trends show  a  significant reduction  in                                                                    
     loss of  life and property  as a result of  the reduced                                                                    
     number of fires caused  by cigarettes.  With cigarettes                                                                    
     related to 25%  of the cause of fatal  fires in Alaska,                                                                    
     we believe  safe cigarette legislation in  Alaska would                                                                    
     save Alaskan lives.                                                                                                        
     In addition to saving Alaskan lives and property, the                                                                      
      safest fire for Alaska's emergency responders is the                                                                      
     one that was prevented.                                                                                                    
MICHAEL TILLY,  Fire Chief,  City of  Kenai; Member,  Alaska Fire                                                               
Chiefs Association (AFCA),  told the committee that he  is also a                                                               
member of the Alaska State  Firefighters Association (ASFA).  Mr.                                                               
Tilly concurred with Ms. Reed's testimony,  and he said HB 413 is                                                               
an  important  piece of  legislation.    He indicated  that  some                                                               
people  think   smokers  made  the   choice  to   smoke  [thereby                                                               
increasing   their  chances   of  a   cigarette-related  injury];                                                               
however,  he  pointed out  that  nonsmokers  are dying  in  these                                                               
fires, as well.   He concluded, "So, I think  we need to remember                                                               
everybody else that's involved in this issue, not just them."                                                                   
8:30:36 AM                                                                                                                    
GARY  POWELL,  Director  State  Fire  Marshall,  Central  Office,                                                               
Division  of  Fire  Prevention,   Department  of  Public  Safety,                                                               
testified in  support of HB 413.   He said the  division has been                                                               
interested in  this issue for some  time.  He echoed  Mr. Tilly's                                                               
comments  regarding  the  fact  that  there  are  other  victims,                                                               
besides the  smokers, who are  affected by careless smoking.   He                                                               
recollected  hearing that  there are  approximately 800  people a                                                               
year who die  from smoking-related fires.  For  example, in 2002,                                                               
760 people died, and 200 of those were not smokers.                                                                             
MR. POWELL  brought up arguments  that may be heard  against [the                                                               
bill]  and the  reasons why  those  arguments do  not hold  true.                                                               
First,  he said  some people  say that  there really  is no  such                                                               
thing as  a cigarette  that reduces  the risk  of a  fire started                                                               
through careless  cigarette use; however, that  claim has already                                                               
been  dispelled by  the fact  that those  cigarettes are  already                                                               
being  sold.   Second,  he noted  that some  say  state laws  are                                                               
unnecessary because  U.S. Congress  is about  to pass  a national                                                               
bill.   Mr.  Powell said,  "We just  simply can't  wait for  this                                                               
rumor  that they  might be  doing something,  because in  reality                                                               
they've been working on this since  ... [1979], and we've seen no                                                               
results yet."   Third, Mr. Powell said some people  claim this is                                                               
just  an  anti-smoking  campaign;  however, he  said  no  one  is                                                               
telling people not to smoke, but to be safer while doing so.                                                                    
8:33:37 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. POWELL  continued highlighting  and then  countering existing                                                               
arguments  against legislation  such  as  HB 413.    He said  the                                                               
committee may  hear people say that  it is not yet  known whether                                                               
such a measure  will actually save lives.   Conversely, he noted,                                                               
the National  Fire Protection  Association has  conducted studies                                                               
to show  [that legislation related  to the burning  capability of                                                               
cigarettes] will save lives.  Mr.  Powell said there is about six                                                               
months of solid  data out of New York showing  approximately a 33                                                               
percent reduction in fatalities.  He  said there is some lag time                                                               
in reporting and  the division is anxiously awaiting  a full year                                                               
of data.                                                                                                                        
MR. POWELL  noted that  some people  claim that  this legislation                                                               
will make cigarettes  more toxic; however, the  Harvard School of                                                               
Public  Health conducted  extensive  studies on  the products  of                                                               
combustion released from the new  cigarettes and found that there                                                               
is no  increase in the  hazard content  of these cigarettes.   He                                                               
added,  "They  did  detect  minimal  increases  in  some  of  the                                                               
compounds  being released,  but no  significant health  issues at                                                               
all."   He noted that  those studies will  be available in  a few                                                               
days if  the committee should  wish to see  them.  At  one point,                                                               
Mr. Powell  said, the industry was  saying it didn't know  how to                                                               
make such cigarettes,  but it is making them now.   Another claim                                                               
heard recently is that there is  not enough of the paper required                                                               
to  construct  the cigarettes,  but  manufacturers  have met  the                                                               
demand in New York  and are now gearing up to  meet the demand in                                                               
other states.  He remarked that  some have tried to say that this                                                               
legislation discriminates  against the  Mom and Pop  retailers by                                                               
making  things difficult.   To  that argument,  Mr. Powell  said,                                                               
"It's  seamless:   they  get  the cigarettes  in,  they sell  the                                                               
cigarettes, I mean ... it makes  no difference.  It's like having                                                               
a Baby  Ruth candy bar  on the shelf  today, and tomorrow  it's a                                                               
different Baby  Ruth with a little  red stripe on the  pack.  ...                                                               
That's just one of the efforts  that the industry will use to try                                                               
to rally support."                                                                                                              
MR.  POWELL   said  the  committee  may   hear  that  upholstered                                                               
furniture and mattresses are the  real problem.  He admitted that                                                               
they  are  part  of  the  problem.   He  said,  as  Mr.  Goodrich                                                               
suggested,  one  way   to  solve  that  problem   is  to  mandate                                                               
residential sprinklers,  but that  would be costly  and difficult                                                               
to  set  as public  policy.    The  other  solution would  be  to                                                               
regulate upholstered furniture and  mattresses and adopt a strict                                                               
standard,  but he  indicated that  that  would be  costly to  the                                                               
industry,  may   be  more  difficult  to   implement,  and  would                                                               
definitely  take  longer  to  adopt   than  the  measure  already                                                               
8:37:26 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. POWELL said  another argument is that the use  of alcohol and                                                               
drugs is the real problem,  because people drink, smoke, and drop                                                               
a  cigarette, which  starts a  fire.   He acknowledged  that that                                                               
certainly is  part of the  problem -  alcohol use is  involved in                                                               
67-68  percent  of  fatal  fires   -  but  changing  the  burning                                                               
capabilities of cigarettes  is easier than trying  to address the                                                               
use of alcohol.  Finally, Mr.  Powell stated that some people say                                                               
an uneducated  public may be  the problem.   He relayed  that the                                                               
division does  its best  to educate people  about the  hazards of                                                               
activities that lead  to fires and death and will  continue to do                                                               
so; however, he  said that would not have as  immediate an impact                                                               
that  a  safe-cigarette bill  would  have.    He stated  that  he                                                               
doesn't know  of anyone who  would be negatively affected  by the                                                               
bill, and  he concluded,  "There are just  too many  positives to                                                               
not support [the bill]."                                                                                                        
8:38:52 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN asked  how the  bill would  impact cigarette                                                               
sales conducted through the Internet.                                                                                           
8:39:11 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. POWELL  said he  thinks there  is some  language in  the bill                                                               
regarding  Internet sales,  but he  deferred further  response to                                                               
the bill's  sponsor.   He commented that  there is  one exception                                                               
for military installations.                                                                                                     
8:39:42 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG directed attention  to page 7, lines 12-                                                               
13, which read as follows:                                                                                                      
          (e) The state fire marshal and the attorney                                                                           
      general may enforce the penalties established under                                                                       
     this section.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked,  "Is that  within  your  normal                                                               
description;  do  you force  the  penalties,  normally, in  other                                                               
parts of the law?"                                                                                                              
8:40:43 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. POWELL answered yes.                                                                                                        
8:40:48 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG turned to  the definition of "cigarette"                                                               
on page 8, lines 24-29, which read as follows:                                                                                  
               (1) "cigarette" means any roll for smoking,                                                                      
     made  wholly or  in  part of  tobacco, irrespective  of                                                                    
     size or  shape and irrespective of  whether the tobacco                                                                    
     is  flavored,   adulterated,  or  mixed   with  another                                                                    
     ingredient, if the roll has  a wrapper or cover made of                                                                    
     paper  or  another  material,  unless  the  wrapper  is                                                                    
     wholly or in  the greater part made of  tobacco and the                                                                    
     roll  weighs over  three pounds  for each  one thousand                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he  contrasted that definition with                                                               
the general definition of cigarette  in revenue code, found in AS                                                               
43.50.170(2), and  there seems to be  a difference.  He  said the                                                               
language added  to the bill that  is not in regulation  is:  "and                                                               
the  roll  weighs  over  three   pounds  for  each  one  thousand                                                               
cigarettes".   He asked Mr. Powell  if he knew why  this language                                                               
is in the bill and not in the general definition.                                                                               
MR. POWELL said he does not know.                                                                                               
8:41:58 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  directed   attention  to  the  penalty                                                               
section on page 7, [lines 9-11], subsection (d), which read:                                                                    
          (d) If a person violates a provision of this                                                                          
     chapter  and  a  civil  penalty  is  not  set  for  the                                                                    
     violation,  the person  is subject  to a  civil penalty                                                                    
     not to exceed $1,000 for each violation.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said he  would  like  to compare  that                                                               
language with that on page 4, lines 3-7, which read as follows:                                                                 
          Sec. 18.74.080. Certification requirement. A                                                                        
     manufacturer  shall certify  in  writing  to the  state                                                                    
     fire  marshal that  each brand  of cigarette  listed in                                                                    
     the certificate has been tested  under AS 18.74.030 and                                                                    
     satisfies the  testing standard in AS  18.74.030(d), or                                                                    
     has  been tested  under AS  18.74.050  and satisfies  a                                                                    
     standard   equivalent    to   the   standard    in   AS                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG observed  that  the only  penalty is  a                                                               
civil one.  He said the same is  true on page 7, lines 5-8, which                                                               
read as follows:                                                                                                                
          (c) In addition to any other penalty prescribed                                                                       
     by  law,  a  person   engaged  in  the  manufacture  of                                                                    
     cigarettes  who knowingly  makes a  false certification                                                                    
     under AS  18.74.080 is subject  to a civil  penalty not                                                                    
     to exceed $10,000 for each false certification.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG, regarding the  language on page 5, line                                                               
3,  suggested requiring  that the  manufacturer shall  certify in                                                               
writing "under oath".   He asked Mr. Powell, "Do  you think there                                                               
might  be   some  benefit   in  making   this,  in   addition,  a                                                               
8:43:31 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. POWELL responded that there might be some advantage to that.                                                                
8:43:41 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG noted  that there would have  to be some                                                               
conforming language on page 7.                                                                                                  
8:44:14 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE  CHAIR GATTO  said he  is trying  to make  sense of  how the                                                               
cigarette will be more loosely packed but have less toxins.                                                                     
8:44:47 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. POWELL suggested that the study  that was done is not flawed,                                                               
but that the  entire product was measured, not  just the tobacco.                                                               
He  said he  could  get a  copy  of study  or  provide an  expert                                                               
witness who was "the key to passing this in New York."                                                                          
8:45:43 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  POWELL, in  response to  a question  from Vice  Chair Gatto,                                                               
reviewed  the make  up and  purpose of  the previously  mentioned                                                               
speed bump.                                                                                                                     
8:46:09 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR  GATTO, in response  to a comment  from Representative                                                               
Ramras, said  he had asked  Mr. Powell  whether this new  type of                                                               
cigarette  would  change  the habits  of  smokers,  for  example,                                                               
requiring them  to drag  harder, deeper, or  more often,  and Mr.                                                               
Powell  indicated to  him  that  the smoker  would  not notice  a                                                               
difference between the current and "safe" cigarette.                                                                            
MR. POWELL confirmed  that he has heard testimony  of smokers who                                                               
had a  preconceived idea that  the cigarette would  be different,                                                               
but in the end stated that they could tell no difference.                                                                       
8:46:43 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS expressed concern  that people - perceiving                                                               
smoking as safer - would in turn smoke more cigarettes per day.                                                                 
8:47:08 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR  GATTO related that  many fires start  because someone                                                               
who  was sitting  or  lying  on a  couch,  drinking and  smoking,                                                               
flicked some ashes away at 2:00  a.m., but the ashes didn't start                                                               
the fire  until 4:00 a.m.   He  asked, "Would the  safe cigarette                                                               
prevent that?"                                                                                                                  
8:48:29 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. POWELL replied:                                                                                                             
     That's exactly  the scenario  that this  would prevent.                                                                    
     The  idea is,  as you  said, it  has to  lay there  for                                                                    
     quite  some time  to actually  ignite  a mattress,  the                                                                    
     comforter, the easy chair, the  recliner - whatever the                                                                    
     person's in.  And the idea is this will actually self-                                                                     
      extinguish before it sets there that long to start a                                                                      
       fire, and it's precisely the issue we're trying to                                                                       
     solve here.                                                                                                                
8:49:02 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ELKINS,  in regard to Vice  Chair Gatto's example,                                                               
said he thinks  that that late at night there  doesn't have to be                                                               
[alcohol] involved;  somebody could just  be drinking a  soda and                                                               
have the same thing happen.                                                                                                     
8:49:35 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR GATTO said that's  true, but statistically it seems to                                                               
be "a can of beer."  He  said another factor is that smokers tend                                                               
to  have a  wastebasket  next to  the couch  and  just flick  the                                                               
cigarette into  the basket.   Hours later  the wastebasket  is on                                                               
fire.   He  talked about  the drastic  injuries from  fires.   He                                                               
stated, "To  see burn victims who  survive is to see  someone who                                                               
is truly devastated about the result  of the fire, in addition to                                                               
the  people who  are grieving  losses."   He  predicted that  the                                                               
committee would  be passing the  bill, but noted that  there were                                                               
some more people to testify.                                                                                                    
8:50:14 AM                                                                                                                    
JEFF JOHNSON, President, Western  Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA),                                                               
testified  on behalf  of  Alaska and  nine  other western  states                                                               
[affiliated with]  the International  Association of  Fire Chiefs                                                               
(IAFC).    He echoed  the  message  of previous  testifiers  that                                                               
cigarettes are one  of the leading causes of fires  and this type                                                               
of legislation  is "having a  statistical impact."  On  behalf of                                                               
the  association, he  urged the  committee to  pass HB  413.   He                                                               
concluded, "I thank you for  the opportunity ... as a non-Alaskan                                                               
for you  to accept my testimony  on behalf of your  state and its                                                               
membership in our association."                                                                                                 
8:52:15 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  JOHNSON,  in  response to  a  question  from  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg, said  he doesn't know whether  HB 413 is based  on the                                                               
New York  model.   Notwithstanding that, he  said WFCA  is asking                                                               
the 10 western  states to introduce legislation that  is based on                                                               
the New York  model bill, "and in talking to  our partners at the                                                               
coalition, ... this  bill appears to work and is  close enough to                                                               
that  model."    He  deferred   to  Andrew  McGuire  for  further                                                               
8:53:24 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  stated for record that  the sponsor and                                                               
his staff were  nodding and telling him that HB  413 was based on                                                               
the New York and California models.   He said he wants to know if                                                               
there  is anything  from other  state laws  that Alaska  ought to                                                               
incorporate in order to pass the best bill possible.                                                                            
8:53:45 AM                                                                                                                    
ANDREW  McGUIRE   testified  on  behalf  of   the  National  Fire                                                               
Protection Association, based in  Massachusetts, in support of HB
413.   He  stated his  understanding that  Representative Joule's                                                               
staff used  the language  from the California  bill to  create HB
413;  however,  the  California  model, and  most  of  the  other                                                               
states' related  bills - with  rare minor exceptions -  are based                                                               
on the New  York bill.  He said that  is deliberate, because "the                                                               
last  thing that  we  would  want to  do  is  have the  cigarette                                                               
manufacturers  have  to  comply  to different  standards."    Mr.                                                               
McGuire  revealed that  he has  been  working on  this issue  for                                                               
almost 30 years.                                                                                                                
8:55:38 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. McGUIRE,  regarding Representative Ramras'  previously stated                                                               
concern,  said  the Harvard  School  of  Public Health  conducted                                                               
studies to  see if  fire-safe cigarettes are  more toxic  or make                                                               
people smoke  more.  It was  found that the smoking  rate did not                                                               
increase or  decrease in New  York and  neighboring Massachusetts                                                               
compared  to prior  years.   Furthermore,  testing  more than  20                                                               
compounds,  no major  difference  in toxicity  was found  between                                                               
fire-safe  cigarettes  and  regular cigarettes  within  the  same                                                               
brands.  He  added, "And these are cancer  researchers; these are                                                               
people who  are looking at this  from that health point  of view,                                                               
not  from the  fire point  of view.   They  are satisfied  that a                                                               
fire-safe  cigarette  - a  cigarette  that  has slightly  thicker                                                               
paper on a  couple of ... bands  on the ... tobacco  column - ...                                                               
[does] not  cause more  toxicity to  the smoker."   He  said that                                                               
information is public.   He concluded, "If you  do hear testimony                                                               
from the tobacco  industry, you'll probably hear  the opposite of                                                               
what I'm saying, but I let the science stand for itself."                                                                       
8:58:17 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  McGUIRE,  in  response   to  questions  from  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg, specified  that he has  been employed by  the National                                                               
Fire  Protection  Association  (NFPA)  as  the  director  of  the                                                               
national  campaign for  fire-safe  cigarettes, and  the NFPA  has                                                               
been around  for over a century  and educates the public  on fire                                                               
prevention,  and establishes  electrical codes  that lead  to the                                                               
prevention of fires  that fire departments use  around the world.                                                               
He offered  his understanding that  NFPA was initially  formed by                                                               
the insurance  industry and the fire  service.  In response  to a                                                               
follow-up  question from  Representative  Gruenberg, Mr.  McGuire                                                               
said he  is not an attorney,  but the reason that  he is involved                                                               
is that  he suffered a  burn injury as a  child.  In  response to                                                               
further questions  from Representative  Gruenberg, he said  he is                                                               
familiar  with other  statutes similar  to HB  413 and  he thinks                                                               
Representative  Gruenberg's earlier  suggestion  to require  [the                                                               
manufacturers' certifications]  to be done  under oath is  a good                                                               
one  and would  not  render Alaska's  legislation different  than                                                               
that of New York or other states.   He said it is the prerogative                                                               
of the legislature  to define what type of penalties  it wants to                                                               
assign.   He  stated, "The  real issue  in conformity,  state-to-                                                               
state,  is that  the  ... fire  safety  performance standard  and                                                               
everything around that  is identical, so that  the product itself                                                               
can meet each state's standard the same way."                                                                                   
9:00:22 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked Mr. McGuire  if he is aware if any                                                               
commerce  clause  or preemption  issues  have  been raised.    He                                                               
clarified, "Are  states free  to legislate in  this area,  or are                                                               
there any federal problems?"                                                                                                    
9:00:35 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. McGUIRE replied:                                                                                                            
     The first  time that was  raised was when the  State of                                                                    
     Maryland  introduced the  fire-safe  cigarette bill  in                                                                    
     1984.    And  then  the tobacco  institute  raised  the                                                                    
     commerce clause as  a problem.  ...  The state attorney                                                                    
     general of  Maryland issued an  opinion that  there was                                                                    
     no commerce clause issue, nor  was there any preemption                                                                    
     issue, and  since 1984, the tobacco  industry has never                                                                    
     raised  that issue.   And  there  can't be  preemption,                                                                    
     because there's  no federal  legislation in  this arena                                                                    
     regarding fire  safety and  cigarettes, so,  there's no                                                                    
     law to preempt.                                                                                                            
MR.  McGUIRE,  in  response  to  a  request  from  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg, said  he would  send a copy  of the  Maryland attorney                                                               
general's opinion to him by facsimile.                                                                                          
9:01:44 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG reiterated  that there  is an  existing                                                               
definition  of  "cigarette"  in Alaska's  revenue  code  that  is                                                               
almost  identical  to the  definition  on  page 8,  lines  28-29,                                                               
except that  the latter  definition contains  additional language                                                               
[text provided previously].                                                                                                     
9:02:10 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. McGUIRE  explained that the additional  language was inserted                                                               
"in  the iterations  of creating  the New  York bill"  to include                                                               
small cigars.                                                                                                                   
9:02:39 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said,  "The  reason I'm  asking is  not                                                               
because   it's   overinclusive,   but   because   it   might   be                                                               
9:02:50 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. McGUIRE responded, "The data  shows that those kinds of small                                                               
cigars and regular cigars are  not a fire problem; they typically                                                               
self-extinguish regardless  of any  technology or  any purposeful                                                               
act of  the tobacco companies,  so that's  why I think  they were                                                               
9:03:14 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  directed attention to page  9, line 21,                                                               
which read:                                                                                                                     
               (A) giving cigarettes as samples,                                                                                
     prizes, or gifts; or                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG noted that he  had brought a bill to the                                                               
legislature years  ago which did  not pass, but which  would have                                                               
made it  illegal to do "tobacco  sampling."  He said  he was told                                                               
that that  whole practice is  illegal in some jurisdictions.   He                                                               
asked Mr. McGuire if he is aware of that.                                                                                       
9:04:06 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. McGUIRE  said he  has not  heard of  a statewide  or national                                                               
standard in that regard, thus, it must be only jurisdictional.                                                                  
9:04:26 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE  CHAIR GATTO  asked that  Mr. McGuire  and Mr.  Johnson send                                                               
their background information by facsimile to the bill sponsor.                                                                  
9:05:30 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN said  he would  like  to know  how the  bill                                                               
would address the practice of  buying cigarettes via the Internet                                                               
that are manufactured overseas.                                                                                                 
9:06:02 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAMRAS offered  his understanding  that a  person                                                               
cannot  buy  cigarettes  over  the  Internet,  because  they  are                                                               
"regulated by state stamps."                                                                                                    
9:06:26 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE  CHAIR GATTO  stated his  belief that  there are  people who                                                               
continue to try, but are "chased down by state authorities ...."                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN said, "I have a personal friend who does."                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  RAMRAS stated,  "It's  illegal to  do  it in  the                                                               
first place."                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  noted that the House  Special Committee                                                               
on  Ways and  Means had  heard testimony  on the  issue a  couple                                                               
years ago.                                                                                                                      
9:06:41 AM                                                                                                                    
MARGE LARSON, American Lung Association, testified as follows:                                                                  
     As a public  health advocate, I am always  leery of the                                                                    
     word  "safe" in  any way  related to  cigarettes, there                                                                    
     being no safe use of  tobacco, and I'm sure that's what                                                                    
     a lot  of folks expected me  to say.  That  said, if we                                                                    
     can  reduce  the  toll of  tobacco  deaths  and  reduce                                                                    
     wildfires  and  wildfire  smoke  by  legislating  self-                                                                    
     extinguishing cigarettes, American  Lung Association of                                                                    
     Alaska  supports that  and  applauds the  firefighter's                                                                    
     strong advocacy  on this bill.   Our  support, however,                                                                    
     is dependent  on the Alaska statute  strictly following                                                                    
     the strong  model legislations of other  states, and on                                                                    
     no additions being amended to this bill.                                                                                   
9:07:38 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR GATTO closed public testimony.                                                                                       
9:07:48 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS  expressed his  support of the  Alaska Fire                                                               
Standards Council.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO reopened public  testimony for an additional                                                               
9:08:37 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  language on  page 4,  lines 18-19                                                               
relates  to cigarettes  that cannot  be tested  by the  generally                                                               
established method in national standards.   He asked Mr. McGuire,                                                               
"What kind of a cigarette couldn't be tested, and why not?"                                                                     
9:09:16 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  McGUIRE  explained  that  12-15  years  ago,  R.J.  Reynolds                                                               
introduced a "smokeless  cigarette."  He said it  consisted of an                                                               
aluminum  tube wrapped  on  the outside  with  tobacco and  white                                                               
paper, filled  inside with  pellets of  nicotine, and  a "burning                                                               
coal  at the  end that  burned and,  in a  sense, decomposed  the                                                               
nicotine  for people  to get  nicotine."   He  said nothing  ever                                                               
actually  burned;  "once  you  smoked   one  of  those  smokeless                                                               
cigarettes,  you were  left  with a  long tube."    He said  that                                                               
product would not  cause fires, because the coal  was hidden from                                                               
contact  with any  surface;  however, it  wouldn't  apply to  the                                                               
current ASTM  International method  of extinguishment  "where you                                                               
place the cigarette  on pieces of paper and watch  whether or not                                                               
there [are] ignitions."   He said [the language on  page 4, lines                                                               
18-19] is there to take  into account bizarre technology that may                                                               
come from the cigarette that  won't cause ignition but won't pass                                                               
the ASTM standard.                                                                                                              
[That was the last of the public testimony.]                                                                                    
9:10:41 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE told the  committee that a cigarette-ignited                                                               
fire that  occurred "as early as  1929" came to the  attention of                                                               
someone in the  U.S. Congress.  The National  Bureau of Standards                                                               
developed the  technology for  self-snubbing cigarettes  in 1932,                                                               
after three years of research.   He said the technology for fire-                                                               
safe cigarettes  has been around  a long  time, and he  urged the                                                               
committee to pass HB 413.                                                                                                       
9:12:39 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked Representative Joule if  he would                                                               
support his  previously suggested amendments.   In response  to a                                                               
request  from Representative  Joule, he  reviewed that  the first                                                               
amendment  would  include changes  to  the  language on  page  5,                                                               
between lines  3-7, page 5, line  31, and page 7,  lines 5-8, and                                                               
would  concern civil  penalties added  in addition  to any  other                                                               
criminal  penalties and  would "allow  it to  be false  swearing,                                                               
which is a misdemeanor."                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  JOULE said  he would  have no  objection to  that                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said his  second idea for  an amendment                                                               
is in regard to page 6, lines 24-27, which read:                                                                                
          Sec. 18.74.160. Penalties for violations. (a) A                                                                     
     manufacturer or  another person who knowingly  sells or                                                                    
     offers  to sell  cigarettes other  than through  retail                                                                    
     sale and in  violation of this chapter is  subject to a                                                                    
     civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for each sale.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said he  is not sure  if the  words "in                                                               
this state"  should be added  between the words  "cigarettes" and                                                               
"other".   He explained that he  wants to ensure the  language is                                                               
legal  because  "we  don't  have  any  jurisdiction  outside  the                                                               
9:14:43 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOULE  suggested  that  Representative  Gruenberg                                                               
could "take a look between  now and [the House Judiciary Standing                                                               
Committee hearing on HB 413] on the second possibility."                                                                        
9:15:19 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   moved  Conceptual  Amendment   1,  as                                                               
     On page 5, line 3:                                                                                                         
          Between "certify" and "in"                                                                                            
          Insert "under oath"                                                                                                   
     On page 5, line 31:                                                                                                        
          Between "submit" and "its"                                                                                            
          Insert "under oath"                                                                                                   
     On page 7, line 5:                                                                                                         
          Between "other" and "penalty"                                                                                         
          Insert "civil or criminal"                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said he would  leave it up to  the bill                                                               
drafters  to  decide   whether  or  not  the   third  portion  of                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 1 is necessary.                                                                                            
9:17:16 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR GATTO  asked if there was any  objection to Conceptual                                                               
Amendment  1.   There  being  none,  Conceptual Amendment  1  was                                                               
9:18:02 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  moved to report  HB 413, as amended,  out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.    There  being no  objection  CSHB  413(STA)  was                                                               
reported out of the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects