Background: Annually, 100 people die as a result of residential fires in Sweden and almost a third of the fatal fires are known to be caused by smoking. In an attempt to reduce the occurrence of these events, reduced ignition propensity (RIP) cigarettes have been developed. They are designed to reduce the risk of fire by preventing the cigarette from burning through the full length when left unattended. In November 2011, a ban was introduced, forbidding the production and sale of all non-RIP cigarettes in all member states of the European Union, including Sweden.
Methods: Monthly data on all recorded residential fires and associated fatalities in Sweden from January 2000 to December 2013 were analyzed using an interrupted time series design. The effect of the intervention [in relative risk (RR)] was quantified using generalised additive models for location, shape and scale.
Results: There were no statistically significant intervention effects on residential fires (RR 0.95 [95% CI: 0.89-1.01]), fatal residential fires (RR 0.99 [95% CI: 0.80-1.23]), residential fires where smoking was a known cause (RR 1.10 [95% CI: 0.95-1.28]) or fatal residential fires where smoking was a known cause (RR 0.92 [95% CI: 0.63-1.35]).
Conclusion: No evidence of an effect of the ban on all non-RIP cigarettes on the risk of residential fires in Sweden was found. The results may not be generalisable to other countries.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.