A fire-safe cigarette has a reduced propensity to burn when left unattended and the use of such cigarettes will help prevent tens of thousands of cigarette-ignited fires each year. Fire-safe cigarettes are a proven, practical, and effective way to eliminate the risk of cigarette-ignited fires. The most common fire-safe technology used by cigarette manufacturers is making the paper thicker in places which acts as "speed bumps" in slowing down the burning of a cigarette. Traditional technology keeps a cigarette burning even without puffing, and a cigarette can smolder for up to 45 minutes. During ignition tests, 90 percent to 100 percent of traditional cigarettes will cause fires within 10 minutes.
The cost of cigarettes is not anticipated to increase due to fire standard compliant cigarette technology. In comparing prices in upstate New York to prices in Massachusetts (after New York began requiring fire standard compliant cigarettes), a Harvard School of Public Health study found that prices remained comparable.
In addition, according to the Harvard School of Public Health study, there is no evidence that the small increases in five of the fourteen toxic compounds noted in FSCCs “affect the already highly toxic nature of cigarette smoke.” However, there may be reduced availability of a small number of older brands and sub-brands due to the new fire standard compliant cigarette regulations.
The establishment of Fire-Safe Cigarettes in North Carolina is not an anti-smoking campaign. The State Fire Marshal’s Office is primarily concerned with fire safety and preventing deaths, injury and property loss due to cigarette ignited fires.
In order to reduce the number of fires and fire related deaths and injuries due to cigarettes, two bands are placed in the fire safe cigarette paper. These bands are less porous than the surrounding paper and require smokers to inhale more deeply in order to increase the oxygen and temperature of the burning cigarette paper enough to burn through the bands.
During the 2007 session, the NC Legislature passed House Bill 1785 NC Fire Safety Standard and Fire Fighter Protection Act (GS 58, Article 92), sometimes referred to as the “Fire Safe Cigarette Act” ”. It requires that all cigarettes sold or offered for sale in NC meet the criteria for reduced ignition propensity cigarettes, and packs will be marked with the “FSC” symbol near the UPC code. When it goes into effect on January 1, 2010, this law is expected to significantly reduce the number of people in North Carolina who are killed or injured from mattress or upholstered furniture fires caused by cigarettes left burning.
Safe Smoking Practices
Whether you smoke a cigarette, pipe or cigar, you are smoking burning tobacco. In the right circumstances, an improperly discarded tobacco product can start a fire. Although fire standard compliant cigarettes may reduce the likelihood that a cigarette will ignite a fire, one must still follow safe smoking practices.
Please follow the following safety tips:
- Smoke outside and extinguish cigarettes in water or sand.
- Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away; hot cigarettes or ashes should never be tossed into a trashcan.
- In a car, use the personal ashtrays or the ashtray in your car to extinguish your cigarettes.
- Never smoke if you are tired, have had alcohol or have taken medicine or drugs that make you sleepy.
- When using ashtrays, they should be deep and sturdy and be placed on something that is hard to ignite, such as a table.
- Keep smoking materials away from things that can burn, such as sofas, chairs, beds, or clothing.
- Never smoke in a house where oxygen is in use. You should also never smoke near an oxygen source, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and can cause a fire to burn hotter and faster.
- Cigarettes thrown from car windows can cause wild land fires that endanger people, homes, and animals.
For more information:
For consumer complaints please contact manufacturers.
The Manufacturers listed below have provided the respective contact information:
- Phillip Morris - www.pmusa.com/en/cms/Home/default.aspx
Toll free consumer Phone number - 1 (800) 343-0975 at prompt, select 4.
- R.J. Reynolds - www.rjrt.com/aboutus.aspx
- Camel - 1 (800) 334-8157
- Kool - 1 ( 800) 811-6961
- Winston - 1 (800) 862-2226
- Salem - 1 (800) 433-4000
- Doral - 1 (800) 743-6725
- Pall Mall - 1 (866) 756-9287
- Eclipse - 1 (800) 828-1400
- Vantage - 1 (800) 826-8243
- More - 1 (800) 551-2250
- Now - 1 (800) 64500015
- Barclay - 1 (800) 341-5211
- Belair - 1 (800) 341-5211
- Capri - 1 (800) 341-5211
- Carlton - 1 (800) 341-5211
- Lucky Strike - 1 (800) 341-5211
- Tareyton - 1 (800) 341-5211