Fire safety questioned

| July 6, 2017

A recent study found no evidence that reduced-ignition propensity cigarettes helped curb the incidence of fires in the states where they were mandated.

Led by Carl Bonander at Karlstad University in Sweden and published in the journal Injury Prevention, the study analyzed data from several sources to examine the effectiveness of fire-safe cigarette laws in the U.S.

Although the researchers found some evidence of a reduction in deaths from fires caused by cigarettes after the laws were enacted, the effect of fire-safe cigarette laws disappeared when adjusted for other factors and trends that might influence the number of deaths.

While the estimates for cigarette-related fire deaths were significant under some specifications, they were not “robust” to the inclusion of state-specific trends or comparisons to effects on other cause-determined fires, according to the report.

Bonander said smoking-related fires are one of the most common causes of fire deaths in the U.S., Fire- safe cigarettes, he said, “are an interesting and innovative way to combat this problem.”

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