fires are another example of the tobacco industry's callous "blame the
victim" policy, and the nicotine cartel's continued lack of
responsibility for the industry's actions. Other articles
excerpted at Fires.
CIGARETTES are the leading cause of fatal fires in the United States.
CIGARETTES are responsible for about 25% of all fire deaths.
CIGARETTE-CAUSED FIRES KILL approximately 1,000 Americans each year.
CIGARETTE-CAUSED FIRES INJURE another 4,000 Americans each year.
FIRES COST approximately
$4 Billion per year in the U.S.
A 15 member Technical Study Group, that included representatives from
reported to Congress, as mandated by the Cigarette Safety Act of 1984.
In fact, the cigarette manufacturers provided the Technical Study Group with thousands of "experimental" reduced ignition propensity cigarettes that were lit and placed on mock-up and full-scale furniture.
These did not cause ignition in tests conducted by the U.S. National Bureau of Standards.
Despite these two reports, the tobacco industry has successfully lobbied to prevent the passage of federal legislation that would give the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission the authority to regulate cigarettes as a fire hazard and, therefore, ban all cigarettes that are not reduced ignition propensity.
TOBACCO INDUSTRY'S "SOLUTION"
not by changing the way cigarettes burn,
but by making furniture and clothing more fire-resistant.
Aside from shifting
the costs from the products
causing the fires to the products susceptible to fires,
this solution ignores the fact that furniture and
have long life-cycles that make it difficult to replace older, less
products with new ones that are more fire-resistant.
This project was code named "Project Hamlet" for the not-so-funny inside corporate joke that the cigarette was "To burn or not to burn".
industry fears personal
suits filed by plaintiffs who have suffered cigarette-caused burns.
it refuses to acknowledge that a fire-safe cigarette can be
and refuses to change its manufacturing processes to make cigarettes
Figures for deaths and injuries are for 1995,
compiled by the
National Center for
figures for societal costs are for 1992,
as set forth in Societal Costs of Cigarette Fires,
Consumer Product Safety
Andrew McGuire, Trauma Foundation, San Francisco General Hospital.