The fire-safe cigarette

JAMA. 1988 Jul 8;260(2):226-9.


Fires caused by cigarettes through the ignition of upholstered furniture and mattresses are a serious public health problem, accounting for more than 1500 deaths and 7000 serious injuries per year in the United States. Fire-resistant fabrics and stuffings, public education, and smoke detectors have had a limited impact on this problem. The federal government recently has completed a three-year study of possible modifications in cigarette design. The study has demonstrated the technical feasibility of product design changes that would substantially reduce the propensity of cigarettes to ignite fires. Legislation currently is pending in Congress and in three state legislatures to mandate a cigarette fire safety standard. This legislation deserves strong support by the medical profession.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholic Intoxication / mortality
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Education
  • Fires / prevention & control*
  • Flame Retardants
  • Humans
  • Interior Design and Furnishings
  • Legislation as Topic
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • United States
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control


  • Flame Retardants