Office of the Bexar County Fire Marshal









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NFPA Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes

SFMO: Fire Standard Compliant Cigarettes in Texas

Harvard School of Public Health: "Fire Safer" Cigarettes









CRAIG S. ROBERTS
Fire Marshal


CHRIS LOPEZ
Chief Investigator


KEVIN WALTON
Chief Fire Inspector










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FIRE-SAFE CIGARETTES


Fire-safe cigarettes are a proven, practical, and effective way to eliminate the risk of cigarette-ignited fires. The use of cigarettes that have a reduced propensity to burn when left unattended will help prevent tens of thousands of cigarette-ignited fires each year.Fire-Safe Cigarette

According to the Coalition for Fire Safe Cigarettes, Cigarette-ignited fires cause between 700 and 900 home fire fatalities across the United States each year. Additionally, the Texas State Fire Marshal's Office reports that cigarettes ignited 1,880 fires and caused more than $14 million in property losses in Texas in 2006; 10 civilians lost their lives, 35 civilians were injured and 10 firefighters were injured due to cigarette fires.

In response to this problem, Governor Rick Perry signed H.B. 2935 into law on June 15, 2007, requiring that by January 1, 2010, all cigarettes sold in the state of Texas have to be certified fire standard compliant (FSC). The State Fire Marshal's Office, Texas Department of Insurance, is in charge of all rulemaking, certifications, and investigations relating to fire standard compliant cigarettes.

A fire standard compliant cigarette (FSCC) reduces the burning time necessary to ignite furniture or bedding material because it is designed to self-extinguish if it is left unattended or is not actively being smoked. Cigarette companies produce fire standard compliant cigarettes by wrapping the cigarettes with two or three thin bands of less porous paper. These bands act as "speed bumps" slowing down the burning of a cigarette, causing it to self-extinguish.

Fire-safe cigarette legislation has been passed or introduced in many states. To maintain regulatory uniformity, all states and countries are using the "model" FSC regulatory bill based on the New York FSC law. With identical fire safety regulations for cigarettes in all states and countries, cigarette manufacturers can voluntarily produce FSC worldwide. Until then, legislative campaigns mandating FSC will continue.