Indexed on: 24 Dec '13Published on: 24 Dec '13Published in: Tobacco Induced Diseases
Although on the decline, smoking-related fires remain a leading cause of fire death in the United States and United Kingdom and account for over 10% of fire-related deaths worldwide. This has prompted lawmakers to enact legislation requiring manufacturers to implement reduced ignition propensity (RIP) safety standards for cigarettes. The current research evaluates how implementation of RIP safety standards in different countries influenced smokers' perceptions of cigarette self-extinguishment, frequency of extinguishment, and the impact on consumer smoking behaviors, including cigarettes smoked per day and planning to quit.Participants for this research come from Waves 3 through 8 of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey conducted longitudinally from 2004 through 2011 in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.Perceptions of cigarette self-extinguishment and frequency of extinguishment increased concurrently with an increase in the prevalence of RIP safety standards for cigarettes. Presence of RIP safety standards was also associated with a greater intention to quit smoking, but was not associated with the number of cigarettes smoked per day. Intention to quit was higher among those who were more likely to report that their cigarettes self-extinguish sometimes and often, but we found no evidence of an interaction between frequency of extinguishment and RIP safety standards on quit intentions.Overall, because these standards largely do not influence consumer smoking behavior, RIP implementation may significantly reduce the number of cigarette-related fires and the associated death and damages. Further research should assess how implementation of RIP safety standards has influenced smoking-related fire incidence, deaths, and other costs associated with smoking-related fires.