Maryland's Governor Signs Fire-Safe Cigarettes Bill Into Law

Anti-smoking advocates and firefighters celebrated victories on Friday when Maryland's governor, Martin O'Malley, signed several bills into law following a recent legislative session. He signed the Cigarette Fire Safety Performance Standard and Firefighter Protection Act, which mandates fire-safe cigarettes, and also a bill barring smoking in most indoor public places and workplaces.

Several Maryland counties had passed their own smoking bans in recent years, and the Maryland General Assembly finally decided to pass a smoking ban that covers workplaces statewide. As of Feb. 1, 2008. the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2007 is in effect across the state.

The act requires the state's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation to adopt regulations and report to the General Assembly on enforcement efforts. They also must set penalties and fines for the violation of the act.

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