SF General Hospital
Bldg 1 Room 300
San Francisco, CA 94110
July 14, 2004
How California and Other States Can
Murder by Fire--Fire-Safe Cigarettes Now!
Cigarette-caused fires are the leading cause of fire-related deaths
in the United States, resulting in some 1,000 deaths and 2, 500 injuries
annually. But now, one state has acted to put a stop to this needless
death and suffering. As of June 28th, 2004, New York is leading the
nation by becoming the first state in the country to require that cigarettes
be self-extinguishing or fire-safe. The New York law will help to prevent
hundreds of deaths and serious injuries each year. In addition, many
people will be spared the emotional, financial, and psychological trauma
associated with the loss or injury of a loved one from a cigarette-ignited
fire. Canada already has enacted a fire-safe cigarette law, using the
New York standard, that will take effect next year.
After years of denying responsibility for cigarette-ignited fires and
refusing to publicly acknowledge their own research on fire-safe cigarettes,
all the major cigarette companies have met the regulations set forth in the New York law.
Despite this, the tobacco industry is refusing to make available fire-safe cigarettes
in other states. And the current Congress is not interested in passing a
national fire-safe cigarette law.
Therefore, California and other states can't
afford to let the tobacco industry continue to make irresponsible decisions,
resulting in the needless and tragic deaths of children, elders,
firefighters, and others. By demanding that cigarettes sold in California
and other states be fire-safe and meet the standards set forth by the New
York law, we have the power to put a stop to hundreds of deaths and injuries
from fires started by smoldering cigarettes. Why wait? It is time to stop
the calculated "murder by fire" of smokers and innocent victims.
Fire-Safe Cigarettes (editorial) San Francisco Chronicle 7/12/04
Trauma Foundation Fire-Safe