Push for 'fire-safe' cigarettes
16 November 2006
The Federal Government is being urged to compel tobacco companies to produce "fire-safe" cigarettes. The man heading the campaign, Professor Simon Chapman, says discarded cigarettes cause fires that kill at least 14 people every year in Australia.
Professor Chapman, fire commissioners, and health and science leaders, have signed a letter highlighting that fact to the country's police and emergency services ministers, who will meet in Adelaide tomorrow.
The 21 signatories, including three Australians of the Year, are calling for accelerants to be removed from cigarettes, so they go out if discarded.
Prof Chapman said his group wanted the ministers to push the Federal Government to create a national standard for “fire-safe” cigarettes.
He said Canada and six states in the United States had legislated for fire-safe cigarettes.
“A testing procedure developed under Standards Australia is available for use,” he said.
“At least one cigarette manufacturer, Philip Morris, supports the introduction of this legislation.”
NSW Fire Brigades Commissioner Greg Mullins asked “all Australian governments to unite urgently on this simple and effective measure”.
“Firefighters know it will reduce the number of preventable deaths and injuries and the environmental and property damage caused by cigarette-initiated fires,” he said.