Fire safe cigarettes

Fire safe cigarettes

[Fire Safe Cigarettes] [] ]

Cigarettes are the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States, which resulted in an estimated 800 civilian deaths, 1,660 civilian injuries and $575 million in direct property damage in 2005 [Hall JR Jr. The Smoking-Material Fire Problem. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association, 2007] [] . Typically, a cigarette drops from an ashtray into a crevice in upholstered furniture, smolders for several hours, then bursts into flame; people die primarily from smoke inhalation.

Flammability Regulation

Congress established the Consumer Product Safety Commission [] in 1973 to protect the public from hazardous products. However, Congress excluded tobacco products from its jurisdiction, while assigning it responsibility for flammable fabrics [] . The Commission immediately regulated the flammability of mattresses [] , carpets and rugs [] . It has worked with furniture manufacturers to establish voluntary flammability standards [] for upholstered furniture although more recently, it is considering a mandatory one [] .

The Campaign to Change the Cigarette to Prevent Fatal Fires in the United States

Disclaimer: The term "fire-safe" is used because it is understandable by the press and public, although all agree that no cigarette is truly fire-safe. Some refer to these cigarettes as RIP (reduced ignition propensity).

1970’s: Andrew McGuire, director of the Burn Council / Trauma Foundation [] , started the grassroots campaign in 1978 to prevent house fire deaths by changing the cigarette. (He is a burn survivor and activist who subsequently won a MacArthur Fellowship in 1985 for his work on this and children’s sleepwear flammability.) He secured funding for an investigation of cigarettes and fires which became: Cigarettes and Sofas: How the Tobacco Lobby Keeps the Home Fires Burning [O’Malley B. Cigarettes and Sofas: How The Tobacco Lobby Keeps The Home Fires Burning. Mother Jones. July, 1979:56-63] , published in Mother Jones [] . Congressman Joe Moakley [] introduced federal legislation in the fall of 1979 after a cigarette fire in his district killed a family of seven. Soon Senator Alan Cranston authored a matching Senate bill. McGuire informed the fire service about the campaign [McGuire EA. The Self-extinguishing Cigarette Campaign. Journal of the International Fire Chief, 1979;45 (11):26] .

1980’s: The Tobacco Institute fought all efforts to regulate cigarettes. It financed a fire prevention education program to deflect firefighter support of the campaign [ Fighting Fire with Firemen. Fortune, October 3, 1983] [Gunja M, Wayne GF, Landman A, Connelly G, McGuire A. The case for fire safe cigarettes made through industry documents. Tobacco Control 2002;11:346-353] [Barbeau EM, Gelder G, Ahmed S et al. From strange bedfellows to natural allies: the shifting allegiance of fire service organizations in the push for federal fire-safe cigarette legislation. Tobacco Control 2005; 14:338-345] . When New York was poised to pass a state bill, a compromise resulted in the first Cigarette Safety Act of 1984. It funded a three year study, under the auspices of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which reported to the Congress in 1987 that it was technically feasible and maybe commercially feasible to make a cigarette less likely to start fires [Technical Study Group on Cigarette and Little Cigar Fire Safety. Toward a Less Fire-Prone Cigarette. Washington, DC: Consumer product Safety Commission, 1987] . Legislative activity continued in the states while the federal government, cigarette manufacturers, and advocates fought about next steps. McGuire and colleagues continued to inform advocates about cigarette fires and prevention strategies: legislation and liability [McLoughlin E. The Cigarette Safety Act. Journal of Public Health Policy. 1982;3(2):226-228] [Grannis AB. The New York Cigarette Fire Safety Act. New York State Journal of Medicine. 1983;839130:1299] [DeFrancesco S, Teret S, McGuire A. Liability for Cigarette-related Fire Death and Injury. Trial Lawyer’s Quarterly. 1986; 17(4):9-15] [McGuire A. Fires, Cigarettes and Advocacy. Law, Medicine and Health Care. 1989: 17(1):73-77] .

1990’s: Another compromise led to the Fire Safe Cigarette Act of 1990. The resulting study, while more contentious, did lay the groundwork for a flammability test method for cigarettes [Consumer Product Safety Commission. Overview: Practicability of Developing a Performance Standard to Reduce Cigarette Ignition Propensity. August, 1993] . Federal efforts to implement a standard stalled after this, as the Reagan and Bush Administrations supported free markets, not regulation. The grassroots campaign focused on state efforts. McGuire continued to publish reports about tactics and progress [McGuire A. "The Case of the Fire Safe Cigarette: the Synergism Between State and Federal Legislation," in Bergman A.B. (ed): Political Approaches to Injury Control at the State Level. University of Washington Press, Seattle/London, 1992, pp.79-87] [McGuire, A., Daynard, R., "When Cigarettes Start Fires: Industry Liability," Trial Magazine, Vol. 28, No.11, Nov 1992, pp. 44-49] [McGuire, A., “How the Tobacco Industry Continues to Keep the Home Fires Burning,” Commentary, Tobacco Control. 1999; 8:67-69] .

2000’s: In 2000, New York passed the first state law requiring that cigarettes have a lower likelihood of starting a fire. The new cigarettes [] have two “speed-bumps”, ultra-thin layers of paper which stop burning if the cigarette is left unattended. The bad part about these cigarettes is that if you have to inhale hard to get past this "speed humps" and they go out all the time when driving. The law references ASTM 2187-04 as the test method for cigarette flammability [] . New York’s law came into effect in June, 2004. Harvard published an evaluation of the law’s effectiveness [Connolly GN, Alpert HR, Rees V et al. Effect of the New York State cigarette fire safety standard on ignition propensity, smoke constituents, and the consumer market. Tobacco Control 2005; 14:321-327] . By the spring of 2006, four more states had passed laws modeled after the New York one: Vermont, New Hampshire, California, Illinois. McGuire published an update for the campaign [McGuire, A., “To Burn or Not to Burn: An Advocate’s Report from the Field,” Injury Prevention, 2005; 11:264-266] . That spring, the National Fire Protection Association [] decided to fund the Fire Safe Cigarette Coalition [] to accelerate this grassroots movement. The Coalition’s website has information about every aspect of the campaign, including the status of the legislation in each state. Twenty-one states have passed legislation modeled on the New York law, and seventeen more states have bills pending. Fifteen lawsuits were filed regarding cigarette-ignited fire deaths and injuries between 1982 and the present. The first successful lawsuit resulted in a settlement for a toddler severely burned in car fire allegedly caused by a cigarette [] .RJ Reynolds has said recently that it would sell only “fire safe” cigarettes [] by the end of 2009, and Philip Morris now actively supports legislation [] . Together, these two corporations control 72% share of the American cigarette market [] .

The Campaign in Other Countries

The fire-safe cigarette has been the law in Canada since 2005 [] . The European Union has endorsed plans to move toward a cigarette less likely to start fires [] . Many in Australia support such legislation [] .

The Fight Against Fire Safe Cigarette's

Recently in the U.S. there has been a civilian uproar against these cigarette's. REFERENCES

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