The Danger They Pose

Surgeon General Reports 1964 to present, show that cigarettes and smoking are dangerous to the smoker, to others (involuntary smokers including children and adults), and to property. Cigarettes contain and emit toxic chemicals far above legal limits, thus endangering both smokers and nonsmokers by adverse health effects. But this site discusses the fire danger.

First, let's notice this fact discovered due to the Attorney General litigation to have the tobacco lobby pay for some of the costs it has inflicted on taxpayers, some of its formerly secret documents were ordered revealed. One until-now such secret document reveals its strategy to oppose fire-safe cigarettes: a pretense of concern for overall fire prevention with the real emphasis, name-calling of 'fire-safe cigarette' supporters as anti-smoking. Too bad when people die, ha ha!!

According to TobaccoFree, 5 Feb 2003, "cigarettes cause about 1 out of 4 fires. In fact, a report from researchers at the University of Wisconsin Medical School says that smoking caused fires kills more young children than all other unintentional injuries combined. Almost every day, someone in America dies from a fire caused by a cigarette—and many of these deaths are toddlers, infants or the elderly."

Articles on TOBACCO BBS concerning fires in nursing homes started by tobacco products, lighters, etc., are posted at You can learn more about tobacco-related fires at various locations using the fire/injury catagory at .

A mentally ill smoker caused an IHOP restaurant fire Sunday 24 April 2010 in Baton Rouge, LA. Smokers discarding their drug paraphernalia is a common symptom of their mental disorder ("parading the narcosis").

Activists have long been expressing concern about tobacco-caused fires,

  • Rev. George Trask, Letters on Tobacco (Fitchburg, Mass: Trask Pub, 1860), pp 67-69

  • Meta Lander, The Tobacco Problem (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1882), pp 46-48

  • Rev. John B. Wight, Tobacco: Its Use and Abuse (Columbia: L. L. Pickett Pub Co, 1889), pp 29-30

  • Theodore F. Frech and Rev. Luther H. Higley, The Evils of Tobacco and Cigarettes (Butler, Indiana: The Higley Printing Co, 1916), pp 10-11.
  • Concern about tobacco and fires is long-standing. For example, Carolus Stephan and Johannes Libaldo, in their boopk A True Description of the Noble Weed Nicotiana (1643) "condemned [tobacco] as being not only injurious to a man's health, but also highly dangerous to his habitation [as due to smoking] the whole house, sometimes a whole village, would be in a blaze," says Count Egon Corti, A History of Smoking, transl. by Paul England (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co, 1932), p 107.

    For example, "on August 26, 1642, in Görlitz, a town in Prussian Silesia, the whole of the Nicholas district, including church and tower, and about a hundred houses, was burned to the ground," says Corti, supra, p 107.

    Soon "the Emperor [Ferdinand III] began to take an interest in the tobacco question . . . and caused inquiries to be made concerning the truth of the matter." The result was a 16 August 1649 law saying that due to tobacco use "sll manner of sicknesses [and] destructive fires have resulted . . . so that neighboring [governments] have been compelled to forbid such abuse. Therefore We . . . strictly . . . forbid the sale and purchase and use of tobacco everywhere [under pain of penalty including] confiscation of the tobacco and the pipes," says Corti, supra, p 110.

    A 19 May 1653 law in Saxony cited that "a fire had broken out in the cellar of the town hall in Dresden," therefore "smoking is absolutely forbidden both in beer-houses and cellars [and] tobacco must no longer be sold [unless] by a doctor's prescription," says Corti, supra, p 110.

    Smoking involves fire! That's how the smoking process begins, each/every time!! So there is a clear, obvious, direct, precise link, correlation, between fires and smoking. George D. Miller, President of the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), therefore says that "Cigarettes are by far the leading cause of fatal fires in the United States. Even after significant declines—driven mainly by our success in convincing more people to stop smoking altogether—we still lose about a thousand lives a year to fires started by lighted tobacco products."

    For example, in 1995, almost 1,400 Americans died from burns caused by fires started by smoking. Additional thousands suffered non-fatal burns. Over 700 of the deaths occurred to persons 50+; almost 440, to persons aged 65+, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

    Smoking is the number one cause of fires that kill older Americans. The NFPA states that persons aged 65 and over are twice as likely to die or be injured in a fire as are younger adults; further, the risk of death or injury from fire goes up with age, with persons aged 75 and over three times as likely to die from fire as younger adults, and those 85 and over four times as likely.

    A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) report, "FIRE IN THE UNITED STATES 1989-1998, 12th Edition" (11/29/2001) says:

    "the leading cause of fire deaths in 1998 in more than half the states was smoking."

  • And, "fire losses affect all groups and races, rich and poor, North and South, urban and rural. But the problem is higher for some groups than for others. African Americans and American Indians have significantly higher death rates per capita than the national average. African Americans comprise a large and disproportionate share of total fire deaths—twice as high as their share of the overall population."

  • And, "people with limited physical and cognitive abilities, especially the very young and very old, are at a higher risk of death and injury from fire than other groups. Because of this, the USFA has set a goal to reduce fire deaths and injuries to children and older adults by 25% by the year 2005. A separate analysis of these two groups is documented in Chapter 6 [of this report].

  • And, "the 'youngest' older adults (age 65-74) are 1.6 times more likely to die in a fire than the general population. The 'oldest' older adults (over age 84) have a relative risk of fire death of 4.6— nearly five times greater than the general population. Older African Americans have the highest risk of fire death—nine times that of the average population. Older American Indians have a fire death risk over three times that of the general population. African American males over age 84 have the highest risk of all, 24 times that of the general population."—FEMA Report (August 2001).
  • This is the law: "No one has a right to have his property burn, if thereby the property of others is endangered. The right to extinguish fires . . . is a part of the police power. . . . It may be exercised 327not only without the consent of the owner of the property on fire, but against his will." Wamsutta Mills v Old Colony Steamboat Co, 137 Mass 471, 473; 50 Am Rep 325, 326-327 (5 Sep 1884). See also Surocco v Geary, 3 Cal 69; 58 Am Dec 385 (Jan 1853) for references, e.g.,
  • City Fire Ins Co v Corlies, 21 Wendell 367; 34 Am Dec 258 (NY, July 1839)
  • Stone v Mayor of N. Y., 25 Wend 157, 173; 14 Common Law Rep 802 (1840)
  • Russell v Mayor, etc., of N. Y., 2 Den 461, 475; 17 Common Law Rep 192, 197 (1845) (cases involving the 1835 New York fire wherein the Mayor had buildings blown up ahead of the advancing flames, for a fire-break to head off the fire, and was upheld in such fire-halting actions; the pertinent public safety principle covers not only fires, but also "pestilential diseases, or any other threatened and blighting evil")
  • TTS of course is a matter of smokers burning property, with a "natural and probable consequence" being injuries to, and deaths of, others, a part of the tobacco holocaust. Smoking is itself a recognized mental disorder, an infectious disease spreading to others.

    Bowditch v Boston, 101 US 16, 18; 25 L Ed 980 (5 April 1880) said:

    "At the common law everyone had the right to detroy real and personal property, in cases of actual necessity, to prevent the spreading of a fire, and there was no responsibility on the part of the destroyer, and no remedy for the owner. . . . There are many other cases besides that of fire, some of them involving the destruction of life itself, where the same rule is applied. 'The rights of necessity are a part of the law.' Respublica v. Sparhawk, 1 Dall., 357, 362 [1 L Ed 174, 177 (Pa, 1788)]; see also Mouse's Case, 12 Rep. (Coke), 63 [81 Eng Rep 341 (1675)]; 15 Vin., tit. Necessity, sec. 8; Cast Plate Co. v. Meredith, 4 T.R., 794; Am. Print W. v. Lawrence, 1 Zab., 248; 3 Zab., 591 [57 Am Dec 420 (NJ, 1851)]; Stone v. Mayor of N. Y., 25 Wend., 173 [14 Common Law Rep 802 (1840)]; Russell v. Mayor, etc., of N. Y., 2 Den., 461 [17 Common Law Rep 192 (1845)]."

    Many people are burned or killed, and/or their property burned by tobacco-caused fires. As the persons affected wanted restitution, there have been many personal tragedies, injuries, deaths, and resulting lawsuits involving tobacco and smoker-caused fires. Here are some examples:

    Commonwealth v Thompson, 53 Mass (12 Metc.) 231 (March 1847) (smoker arrested and convicted for smoking outdoors despite smoking being banned due to fire hazard; see also the common law 'right to pure air' which includes outdoors air)

    Williams v Jones 3 Hurlst & C 256; 159 Eng Rep 528 (Crt of Exchequer, 11 June 1864) aff'd 3 Hurlst & C 602; 159 Eng Rep 668 (Exchequer Chamber, 7 Feb 1865) (smoker on the job caused a fire due to his smoking, employer is liable where the employee smoker purpose is for job purposes, but smoking is not necessary for performing job duties)

    Heard v Flannagan, 10 Victoria Law Rpts 1 (1884) (employee set fire to flammable material (haystack) by putting his lighted pipe in contact)

    Eaton v Lancaster, 79 Me 477; 10 A 449 (29 June 1887) (fire caused by employees smoking amidst flammable material (hay) causing stable to burn)

    Manson v Forth & Clyde Steamship Co, [1913] SC 921; 50 Scot L R 475; [1913] WC & Ins Rep 399; 6 BWCC 830 (23 May 1913) (fire from cigarette in contact with employee's oil-covered trousers)

    Haller v City of Lansing, 195 Mich 753; 162 NW 335 (9 April 1917) (worker compensation case arising when smoker on the job set self afire smoking around gasoline)

    Dzikowska v Superior Steel Co, 259 Pa 578; 103 A 351 (7 Jan 1918) (worker compensation case of employee smoking around oil, causing severe injury and death; details included "that his clothing was more or less saturated with oil. He stepped out of the shipping room and went into a box car, supposedly in order to smoke, as he said afterwards that in striking a match upon his trousers the burlap apron caught fire. . . . directly afterward he ran out of the car all aflame, and was so badly burned that his death resulted in a few days."

    Whiting-Mead Commercial Co v Industrial Accident Com'n, 178 Cal 505; 173 P 1105 (3 July 1918) (worker compensation case due to smoker injured on the job by smoking in violation of employer rule)

    Rish v Iowa Portland Cement Co, 186 Iowa 443; 170 NW 533 (23 Jan 1919) (cigarette smoking leading to "the explosion of a dynamite cap")

    Palmer v Keene Forestry Assn, 80 NH 68; 112 A 798; 13 ALR 995 (1 Feb 1921) (outdoor fire caused by smoking; the New Hampshire Supreme Court refers to smokers being "addicted to the use of cigarettes," so much that they caused a fire that destroyed a building owned by Palmer. The court ruled in favor of Palmer, and held the defendant liable for the damages as "chargeable with the knowledge that ordinarily prudent men would possess upon this subject," i.e., that smoking is well-established to be addictive and that harm can result from the adverse mental effects including fire-setting behavior. The case is noteworthy for citing as applying to smoking, a case of a drunk worker, wherein the employer was chargeable to know the impact of that behavior pattern on the person's work quality, Curtis v Laconica Car Works, 73 NH 516; 63 A 400 [6 March 1906])

    Jefferson v Derbyshire Farmers, Ltd, [1920] All Eng 129; 2 KB 281; 13 ALR 997 (3 Feb 1921) (employee smoking caused fire, employer held responsible)

    Feeney v Standard Oil Co, 58 Cal App 587; 209 P 85 (20 July 1922) (oil company employee in violation of company policy, smoked on the job, causing damages; "defendant had instructed [staff] not to smoke . . . .")

    Keyser Canning Co v Klots Throwing Co, 94 W Va 346; 118 SE 521; 31 ALR 283 (26 June 1923) (smoker employee set building afire; court recommended firing the smoker causing it)

    Kaletha v Hall Mercantile Co, 157 Minn 290; 196 NW 261 (7 Dec 1923) (worker compensation case, employee smoking on the job, working as Santa Claus, set beard afire, causing injury)

    Adams v Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co, 295 F 586 (CA 4, South Carolina, 5 Feb 1924) (on the job smoking case)

    Tiralongo v Stanley Works, 104 Conn 331; 133 A. 98 (8 April 1926) (worker compensation case)

    Mack v Hugger Bros Construction Co, 153 Tenn 260; 283 SW 448; 46 ALR 389 (22 May 1926) (issue of worker smoking causing damage; [the employer's agent] "warned everybody . . . not to smoke [and the victim] said 'I suppose you know enough not to use matches or allow anyone else to use matches [and witnesses said the employer] would not permit those working . . . to smoke while at work")

    Fischer v R. Hoe & Co, Inc, 224 App Div 335; 230 NYS 755 (20 Sep 1928) involved a smoker so addicted that though he was wearing a bandage "saturated with alcohol and boric acid [he] ignited a match to light a cigarette, and in so doing the dressing caught fire. The burn caused the loss of a part of the thumb and little finger, and other involvements of the hand . . . fifty-five per cent loss of use of the right hand."

    Wood v Saunders, 228 App Div 69; 238 NYS 571 (10 Jan 1930) (smoking at gas station caused severe injury; involves "having the gasoline tank of the car filled." Smoker Thorne "flipped his lighted cigarette across the driver's seat, over the open tank. . . . An explosion followed, and flames shot upward from the tank. Thorne pulled out the nozzle in such a way that he splashed flaming gasoline on the infant plaintiff, who . . . suffered extremely painful injuries, for which he has recovered a verdict against the defendant.")

    Rushing v Texas Co, 199 NC 173; 154 SE 1 (2 July 1930) (smoker using gas station restroom lit up to begin smoking, was injured when gasoline vapors exploded causing injury)

    See similiar incident in February 2008, cited in the article, "BOOM! Port Chester smoker ignites acetylene tank in car trunk," by Shawn Cohen, in The Journal News, Port Chester, New York, 22 February 2008. The explosion "happened shortly after 6 p.m. in the parking lot of 325 King St., near where Frattaralo lives. An acetylene tank was left open in the trunk, causing highly flammable gas to seep into the vehicle. When [smoker Michael] Frattaralo lit up, the back half of his vehicle exploded. The blast sent metal and glass flying into four vehicles, damaging [neighbor Louise] Vareltzis' Volvo, a Kia, an Infinity and a Dodge Caravan."
    A similar incident occurred in October 2013, says the article "Livingston [Texas] man has accident with cigarette, gasoline, gets arrested" (23 October 2013). "[James Lee] Taylor lit a cigarette and started pumping gas into his Ford Mustang. When the gasoline fumes ignited, they burned his facial hair and eyebrows, melted his cigarette lighter, caught the gas pump on fire, Jones said. In addition, one of Taylor's flip-flops caught on fire. The flames also charred the side of his Mustang."
    A similar incident occurred in November 2013 says "Hospital Patient Smokes in Bed, Starts Fire, Dies" (UPI, Baltimore, 9 November 2013)

    Dattilo's Case, 273 Mass 333; 173 NE 552 (28 Nov 1930) (case filed by the widow of a smoker who had worked with gasoline and had gasoline on his clothing. She sought worker compensation when her husband died as follows: While his trousers were covered with gasoline, he "took a match from his pocket and scratched it on his trousers for the purpose of lighting a cigarette . . . in his mouth, and 'he became a human torch.' He never recovered from his burns and died." That is a lot of addiction!!)

    Lovallo v American Brass Co, 112 Conn 35; 153 A. 783 (3 March 1931) (worker compensation case involving smoking around oily, greasy material, causing injury and death; "The clothing of the deceased . . . was thus oily and greasy as a result . . . The burlap bags themselves were of very inflammable material. . . . the deceased . . . undertook to light his pipe. The match which he struck, ignited his greasy and oily clothing, particularly the burlap bag he was wearing as an apron. The fire . . . spread more rapidly because of the oil and grease on these portions of his clothing.")

    Maloney Tank Mfg Co v Mid-Continent Petroleum Corp, 49 F2d 146 (CA 10, 30 March 1931) (oil company fire caused by employees' smoking on the job; "a battery of oil tanks . . . being dismantled, one of the workmen stopped in his work to light a cigarette, and threw the match on the ground. The ground was oil-soaked, and a fire ensued which destroyed the tanks and the oil therein. [When an employer assigns employees] "to do work [and] knows that damage is apt to occur if the [employee] smokes or strikes a match . . . the duty devolves upon the [employer] to see it that his [employees] exercise due care under the existing circumstances")

    Allen v Posternock, 107 Pa Super 332; 163 A 336 (16 Dec 1932) (beauty salon smoker injured customer, by smoking while using flammable chemicals, violating employer ban on smoking while working; the employer "claimed that she had given instructions . . . not to smoke," but failed to enforce the rule, so was held liable)

    Dye v Rule, 138 Kan 808; 28 P2d 758 (27 Jan 1934) (service station smoking-caused fire)

    Triplett v Western Public Service Co, 128 Neb 835; 260 NW 387 (8 Nov 1935) (prairie fire caused by workers' smoking)

    Jones v Eastern Greyhound Lines, Inc, 159 Misc 662; 288 NYS 523 (9 June 1936) (travelers' rights case, issue included fellow passenger, a smoker, causing injury by smoking on the bus)

    Vincennes Steel Corp v Gibson, 194 Ark 58; 106 SW2d 173 (17 May 1937) (outdoor fire in field caused by employee smoking)

    Tyson v Plymouth Country Club, 57 Montg (Pa) 140; 41 Pa D & C 116 (14 Jan 1941) (patron at bar was injured by clothing burned from smoker standing adjacent setting clothing afire)

    McKinney v Bland, 188 Okla 661; 112 P2d 798 (25 March 1941) (fire damages caused by employee smoking)

    McAfee v Travis Gas Corp, 137 Tex 314; 153 SW2d 442 (4 June 1941) (employee smoked around gas pipe, which was leaking, resultant explosion caused injury to another person; "gas line was in bad condition, and had been leaking gas from openings therein for many months." Mr. McAfee "went with" smoker Joe "Woods to where the pipe line was leaking and was in the act of pointing out such leaks to Woods when Woods struck a match on the sole of his shoe to light a cigarette. The blaze from the match ignited the escaping gas, causing an explosion. As a result of such explosion McAfee was injured." The victim employee McAfee had not foreseen that the smoker was so mentally addicted and abulic that he'd start a fire by a gas line! The employer was held responsible; it had, of course, negligently hired the addict despite the case law to avoid such negligent hiring.)

    Century Insurance Co v Northern Ireland Road Transport Board, 1942 AC 509 (HL); 1 All Eng 491 (4 Feb 1942)

    Miles v Southeastern Motor Truck Lines, Inc, 295 Ky 156; 173 SW 2d 990 (25 June 1943) (automobile accident involving smoking causing fire thus compounding damage)

    McDonough v Sears, Roebuck & Co, 130 NJL 530; 33 A2d 861 (16 Sep 1943) (worker compensation case, employee injured self smoking despite employer ban)

    United States Lighterage Corp v Petterson Lighterage & Towing Corp, 142 F2d 197 (CA 2, NY, 26 April 1944) (issue of stevedores' smoking with cargo damaged as a result)

    Brownhill v Kivlin, 317 Mass 168; 57 NE2d 539 (25 Oct 1944) (issue included smoker having a record of smoking and sleeping in car)

    Puffin v General Electric Co, 132 Conn 279; 43 A2d 746 (12 July 1945) (worker compensation case)

    In Albany Insurance Co v Holberg, 166 F2d 311, 315 (CA 8, 1948), an Eight Circuit case, the supervisor "in charge . . . testified that . . . he gave . . . very explicit instructions about not smoking."

    Kerr v Hudson Hotel Co, 204 Miss 396; 37 So 2d 630 (22 Nov 1948) (smoking-caused hotel fire case)

    George v Bekins Van & Storage Co, 33 Cal 2d 834; 205 P2d 1037 (13 May 49) (issue of smoker setting fire to warehouse, though forbidden to smoke on the job; the company "had a rigid rule, enforced by discharging violators, against smoking in the warehouse except in one designated area of the first floor"). SCB: 189 P2d 301; 196 P2d 637

    Waskevitz v Clifton Paper Board Co, 7 NJ Super 1; 71 A2d 646 (1 March 1950) (job smoking case)

    Bluestein v Scoparino, 277 App Div 534; 100 NYS 2d 577 (21 Nov 1950) (issue of smoker setting fire to factory, though forbidden to smoke on the job; there was "a prohibition against smoking . . . signs to such effect posted about the premises . . . discharged [employee] for smoking")

    Hill-Luthy Co v Industrial Commission, 411 Ill 201; 103 NE 2d 605 (24 Jan 1952) (employee smoking case)

    New Zealand Insurance Co v Brown, 110 Cal App 2d 411; 242 P2d 674 (18 April 1952) (issue of smoker death re smoking in bed)

    In Re Texas City Disaster Litigation, 197 F2d 771 (CA 5, Tex, 10 June 1952)

    Dalehite v United States, 346 US 15; 73 S Ct 956; 97 L Ed 1427 (8 June 1953). SCB: 197 F2d 771 (issue of smoking-caused fire, with a large explosion killing 560 and injuring 3,000 people)

    Eacurco v Haddad, 3 Ill App 2d 480; 122 NE 2d 605 (19 Nov 1954) (landlord tenant case, when tenant sprayed gasoline, then lit cigar, fire resulted, causing damage)

    Secor v Penn Service Garage, 19 NJ Super 315; 117 A2d 12 (27 Sep 1955) (worker compensation case, employee smoked around gasoline, after "the gasoline overflowed and splashed onto his right sleeve and left trouser leg" in the process of "filling a customer's gas tank." A witness "testified that . . . Secor, saying 'he wasn't afraid of that stuff,' took a book of matches out, lit one with his right hand, put it close to his left leg, and instantaneously was in flames.")

    De Mirjian v Ideal Heating Corp, 129 Cal App 2d 758; 278 P2d 114 (23 Dec 1955) (employee smoking on the job causing damages; employer had "orders prohibiting smoking on the floor of the shop")

    Crotty v Driver Harris Co, 49 NJ Super 60; 139 A2d 126 (17 Feb 1958) (worker compensation job smoking case)

    Petition of the Republic of France, 171 F Supp 497, 508 (D SD Tex, 1959) aff'd 290 F2d 395 (CA 5, 1961) cert den 369 US 804; 82 S Ct 644; 7 L Ed 2d 550 (1962) (ship fire due to sailors smoking around flammable materials; the District Court had found that the "failure . . . to promulgate and enforce 'no smoking' regulations . . . constituted fault and negligence")

    Meredith v Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows, Inc, 321 F2d 107 (CA 6, Ohio, 31 July 1963) (issue of smoking-caused circus fire)

    Clarke v Coats & Clarke, Inc, 97 RI 163; 196 A2d 423 (10 Jan 1964) (worker compensation employee smoking case)

    Merritt v United States, 332 F2d 397 (CA 1, Massachusetts, 1 June 1964) (military sergeant renting private home, caused fire, smoking in bed)

    Granger v Deaconess Hospital of Grand Forks, 138 NW2d 443 (ND, 23 Nov 1965) (smoking in hospital oxygen tent, smoker sued hospital for letting her smoke there, when severe injury resulted from the fire)

    For examples of other similar fire cases, see, e.g.,
  • Man burned alive outside Escondido nursing home (January 2006)
  • "Trying to Smoke, Patient Sparks Hospital Fire" (July 2006)
  • " Investigation of Auburn fire points to cigarette," by Joseph Duggan, Lincoln Journal Star (Nebraska, 22 February 2008) (smoker on oxygen stasrts fire, kills one, leaves ten homeless).
  • "Man Dies Of Cardiac Arrest In Manchester Fire: Firefighters Say Fire Caused By Smoker On Oxygen" (27 December 2011)
  • "Psychiatric hospital fire caused by chain smoking patient say police" (26 April 2013)
  • "Mom: 3-Old-Son Severely Burned After Exploding E-cigarette Ignites Car Seat" (24 September 2013). "Provo [Utah] Fire Marshal Lynn Schofield said he has no doubt Barlow's White Rhino e-cigarette exploded, citing a separate but similar incident in Provo." Prof. Stanton Glantz, Ph.D., asks "Where is the Consumer Product Safety Commission?"
  • "e-cigarette blamed for house fire in Idaho, electronic cigarette battery overcharged and exploded" (5 November 2013) ("Fire investigators said an e-cigarette plugged into a laptop to be charged was to blame. It overcharged, overheated and exploded, sending parts flying on to the furniture. . . . [Jason] Burns said, 'The smoke alarm let off a chirp, my mom actually woke up at the smoke alarm, came out, and just saw the fire blazing, started screaming for everybody, when I came out of my room, there were just flames, it's all you could see.'"
    Note the issue, “"how much longer will smokers be allowed to endanger everyone else's life? . . . If you have just had surgery, the one word you don't want to hear is FIRE!”—D. Gordon Draves, President, GASP of Georgia.
    Smokers endanger themselves too, with their smoking paraphernalia setting themselves on fire. See, for example, "Nursing Home Patient Catches Fire, Left To Smolder Outside" (CBS, 30 September 2013). This occurred in the so-called 'smoking section.' Allowing a smoking area was the facility's proximate cause mistake. Constitutional rights against, nuisances , and laws against poisoning, exist and are in force always and everywhere without exception. No authority to grant a waiver of such laws exists, by creating a 'ok to poison here' section. Here in Michigan, Jack Kevorkian found that out. Even if the individual who dies, had provided a 'consent' to the poisoning, such consents have no legal standing whatsoever against the rule of law. See the century of precedents denying validity of 'consent' as compiled at 58 ALR3d 662-667 (12 Sep 1974).
  • Bouiller v Samsan Co, 100 RI 676; 219 A2d 133 (25 April 1966) (employee violating employer rule smoked on the job, injured self, filed workers' compensation claim)

    McGee v Adams Paper & Twine Co, 26 App Div 2d 186; 271 NYS2d 698 (7 July 1966) motion gr 19 NY2d 673; 278 NYS2d 864; 225 NE2d 555 (16 Feb 1967) aff'd 20 NY2d 921; 286 NYS2d 274; 233 NE2d 289 (29 Nov 1967) (smoking-caused a building fire, fireman coming to fight the fire, death ensued, and widow's lawsuit for compensation) (Context)

    Virginia Surety Co v Schlegel, 200 Kan 64; 434 P2d 772 (9 Dec 1967) (damages from smoking caused fire)

    State v Giles, 183 Neb 296; 159 NW2d 826 (21 June 1968) (criminal assault case due to bodily injury to child caused by lighted cigarette)

    Guss v Jack Tar Management Co, 407 F2d 859 (CA 5, Louisiana, 25 Feb 1969) (issue of hotel guest setting fire to mattress, deying in resultant fire)

    In Interest of Helman, 230 Pa Super 484; 327 A2d 163 (23 Sep 1974) (smoking boys set fire to building)

    Wilhelm v Globe Solvent Co, 373 A2d 218 (Delaware, 17 March 1977) (coworker's smoking caused fire and resultant injury)

    Edgewater Motels, Inc v Gatzke, 277 NW 2d 11 (Minn, 26 Jan 1979) (issue of hotel guest smoking in room causing fire leading to damage to hotel)

    Dickerson v Reeves, 588 SW 2d 854 (Tex Civ App, 11 Oct 1979) (issue of smoker setting fire to premises, though forbidden to smoke on the job; the smoker "had been told not to smoke in the pouring room, and there were 'no smoking' signs in that room." )

    Shipley v City of Johnson City, 620 SW2d 500 (Tenn App, 24 April 1981) (smoker lit up while working at a gas line excavation, explosion caused injury to third party; the Tennessee Appeals Court found that Shipley's foreman, Ronald Profitt, at the site of a ruptured gas line, "inexplicably . . . put a cigarette in his mouth, removed a lighter from his pocket, and immediately after an exclamation by Mr. [Charles] Cox [a fellow employee], 'Surely to hell you ain't going to light that cigarette,' lit his lighter precipitating an explosion which injured both himself and Mr. Shipley . . . his actions were involuntary and . . . he was not really conscious of what he was doing . . . The injury was a direct, foreseeable and natural consequence.")

    United States v Bunney, 705 F2d 378 (CA 10, Wyoming, 12 April 1983) (issue of arsonist torching three buildings using gasoline ignited by cigarettes)

    Andren v White-Rodgers Co, 465 NW2d 102 (Minn App, 1991) (a cigarette fire case, involving smoking around gas)

    Kearney v Philip Morris, Inc, 916 F Supp 61; 277; CCH Prod Liab Rep ¶ 14636 (Mass, 16 Feb 1996) (a cigarette-caused house-fire case, court said the danger is obvious)

    USA v Doe (R.S.W.), Case 97-30042 (CA 9, D Montana, 12 Feb 1998) (a juvenile delinquent case of arson, the student started a fire in school, proof of knowledge of effect of fire-starting is not necessary for conviction, it's known cigarettes are useable for arson, lighting a cigarette has no legal basis when banned)

    Talkington v Atria, 97-1386p and 97-1386pv2 (CA 4, D SC, 15 July 1998) (a fire-safe cigarette case)

    Hernandez v Tokai Corp, Case 97-50862 (CA 5, WD Texas, 4 Sep 1998) (a fire safe cigarette case)

    Jennings v BIC Corp, et al, Case 95-2963 (CA 11, MD Fla, 22 July 1999) (c) (lighter fire, child's pajamas caught on fire)

    In 2004, Bruce Parker, M.D., "Urban Legends" Letter, 50 Car and Driver (Issue #4) p 22 (October 2004), says in context of smoker's addiction, of an emergency room incident of his, caused by the lighting of a cigarette lighter "to see much fuel was left in the 55-gallon drum at hand." The fuel center owner was burned over 90% of body, and thus died. Parker writes, "I also firmly believe that smoking damages one's thinking ability, leading to this type error." (See also the similar McAfee and Travis incidents.)

    People v Paul E. Renwick (Macomb Cnty Circ. Ct., Mich., 28 September 2006) (conviction for causing fatal fire)

    United States v Casey James Fury (July 2012) Smoker employee set nuclear submarine on fire, caused $400 million damage!!!! Data on not hiring smokers goes back a century, see references, confirming disregard of the government's own data about not hiring smokers!!! “[I]f the military somehow could restrict enlistments to nonsmokers, there would be far fewer discipline, alcoholism, and drug abuse problems in the Army and other services,” says U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL) Report No. 86-13, “Smoking and Soldier Performance,” by Frederick N. Dyer, Ph.D. (Fort Rucker, Alabama) (June 1986), p 149. The federal civil service hiring form, Standard Form 78, Certificate of Medical Examination, which human resources personnel in federal personnel work are supposed to use to avoid negligent/reckless selection/retention, 34 A.L.R.2d 372 (1954), precludes hiring an applicant (e.g., a smoker / drug user) with any "medical findings which . . . would make him a hazard to himself or others." All smokers pose a hazard!! And the U.S. Army used to refuse to enlist smokers! alluded to in Austin v State, 101 Tennessee Supreme Court 563, 566-7; 48 SW 305; 70 Am St Rep 703 (1898), affirmed by the US Supreme Court, 179 US 343; 21 S Ct 132; 45 L Ed 224 (1900). But Standard Form 78 is never so far as I know ever enforced, never used to disqualify smokers and thus prevent incidents such as this one. And see also the previous ship fire case killing about 500 people which created international incident, Petition of the Republic of France, 171 F Supp 497 (D SD Tex, 9 March 1959) (ship fire due to sailors smoking around flammable materials), aff'd 290 F2d 395 (CA 5, Tex, 1961), cert. den. 369 US 804; 82 S Ct 644; 7 L Ed 2d 550 (1962).

    Here is another example, Careless Smoking Blamed For Apartment Fire (Kansas City Channel, 24 December 2006) (note use of the misleading term "careless" vs the more proper term, addiction or brain-damage caused smoking)

    See also "Update: Man burned in propane explosion dies from injuries" (Wednesday, 29 August 2012) ("a propane tank exploded in his neighbor’s car." "Fire Investigators believe a cigarette may have ignited the propane."

    "Explosion, fire in St. Petersburg seriously injures two men" (1 September 2012) ("A woman from Progress Energy . . . smelled gas and insisted the men get away from the basement. The men, both carrying lit cigarettes, walked back toward the building." BOOM!

    Hallucinating Smoker Starts Fire in Hospital (Ann Arbor (MI) News, 21 October 2012). "An intoxicated patient smoking an imaginary cigarette in a bed in one room of the recently expanded ER. 'He was trying to light a non-existent cigarette. He thought he had one, he didn't have one, that caused the bedding to catch on fire . . . '" injuring himself and the nurse on duty.

    Smoker mental disorder symptoms include “rebellion” and “a considerable feeling of defiance for authority and the individuating thrill of setting aside some rule,” says Maurice J. Barry, Jr., M.D., "Psychologic Aspects of Smoking," 35 Staff Meetings of Mayo Clinic (#13) 386, 387 (22 June 1960).

    Now, let's note this medical journal statistical data on smoking and fires: "Fire investigators attributed 55% of the fires (56% of deaths) to cigarettes, typically on the basis of evidence that fire broke out in a smoldering mattress or upholstered furniture and that cigarette smokers were involved. . . . By the time fire breaks out, people are asleep. If intoxicated, they are less aware of a dropped cigarette, less likely to be roused by smoke or fire, and less able to escape. Most deaths are due to carbon monoxide poisoning from smoke inhalation rather than burns." — M. C. Mierley and S. P. Baker, "Fatal House Fires in an Urban Population," 249 Journal of the American Medical Association (#11) 1466-1469 (18 March 1983), p 1467. They concluded, "it is not likely that the incidence of cigarette-initiated house fires can be substantially reduced by making cigarette smokers more careful." Or, more effectively, by banning cigarette manufacture and sales pursuant to the precedents of Tennessee,   Iowa, and Michigan

    Smokers burn themselves up, and also others, "at least . . . 39% of the persons . . . who died in cigarette-ignited houe fires were not the smokers of the cigarette." Mierley, supra, p 1467.

    Next, let's be aware of a shocking fact, generally unknown to the public at large. This fact explains why "it is not likely that the incidence of cigarette-initiated house fires can be substantially reduced by making cigarette smokers more careful."

              That shocking fact is that smoking is not deemed, medically, a habit, but something far worse. Smoking is listed in the International Classification of Diseases (1980), p 231, as "tobacco use disorder," in the "mental disorders" section. Smoking has been listed in the "organic mental disorders" section of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders since 1980. As is clear from the medical and psychiatric literature, a person who regularly sucks poison clearly is not well mentally!

              Sane people recoil in horror at the notion of ingesting poison, and typically prosecute people who would attempt to poison them. In contrast, smokers have an ultra-high rate of suicide, doing 90% of the suicides.

              Smoking is not just a regular mental disorder, but a dangerous one, one that renders the person dangerous to himself, others, and property, e.g., via fires. Smokers kill many nonsmokers yearly, some estimates as high as 50,000.   (By contrast, typical murders are in the 23,000 annual range)

              Smokers' abulia results in long-documented fire-setting and rule-defying rebelliousness,

  • Haller v City of Lansing, 195 Mich 753; 162 NW 335 (1917);
  • Tanton v McKenney, 226 Mich 245; 197 NW 510 (1924);
  • Commonwealth v Hughes, 468 Pa 502; 364 A2d 306 (1976);
  • Gladieux Food Service v Internat'l Ass'n of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, 70 Lab Arb (BNA) 544 (1978);
  • Jacobs v Michigan State Mental Health Dep't, 88 Mich App 503; 276 NW2d 627 (1979); and
  • Stevens v Inland Waters, Inc, 220 Mich App 212; 559 NW2d 61 (1996).
  • Mentally disordered smokers, addicts, can indeed be quite dangerous, cause fires, kill nonsmokers, etc. See, for example, the lawsuit of Rum River Lumber Co v State of Minnesota, 282 NW2d 882 (Minn, 1979). An insane smoker had escaped from the St. Peter's mental hospital. A pyromaniac, he then proceeded to set fire to an area lumber yard!! The destroyed lumber yard sued the mental hospital operated by the State, for negligence in letting the mentally ill smoker escape!! When such smokers are allowed to run loose, said the lumber yard in court, they are likely to cause fires; so it is negligent to let such foreseeably dangerous mentally disordered smokers escape. The jury agreed, and told the state to pay for the damages that arose from the asylum's negligence in letting the insane smoker escape. The state mental hospital appealed to the State Supreme Court. But since smoker's known disproportionate mental disorder and dangerousness, including their causing fires disproportionately, is medical fact, the state lost the appeal.

    This decision follows a long line of precedents, on the duty to protect third parties from the mentally ill and dangerous. See, e.g.,

  • Skillings v. Allen, 143 Minn. 323, 173 N.W. 663 (1919) (unacceptable for a doctor to provide wrong data that scarlet fever would not infect others)

  • Davis v. Rodman, 147 Ark. 385, 227 S.W. 612 (1921) (unacceptable to provide wrong information that typhoid fever would not infect others)

  • Jones v. Stanko, 118 Ohio St. 147, 160 N.E. 456 (1928) (unacceptable to wrongly inform a neighbor that smallpox is not contagious)

  • Shepherd v Washington County, 962 SW2d 779 (Ark. 1998); Cansler v State, 675 P2d 57 (Kan. 1984); Wilson v Dept of Pub Safety & Corr, 576 So. 2d 490 (La. 1991); Lopez v Great Falls Pre-Release Services, Inc, 986 P2d 1081 (Mont. 1999); State v Silva, 478 P2d 591 (Nev. 1970); Christensen v Epley, 585 P2d 416 (Or Ct App 1978) (on jailers' duty to third parties)

  • Hicks v United States, 511 F.2d 407 (CA DC, 1975) (Federal Tort Claims Act case); Bradley Ctr, Inc v Wessner, 287 SE2d 716 (Ga Ct App) aff'd 296 SE2d 693 (Ga. 1982); Maroon v State Dept of Mental Health, 411 NE2d 404 (Ind. Ct. App. 1980); Petersen v State, 671 P2d 230 (Wash. 1983) (on the duty of hospitals with custody of the mentally ill)

  • Tarasoff v. Regents of U. of California, 17 Cal 3d 425; 131 Cal Rptr 14; 551 P2d 334 (July 1976) ("When a doctor or a psychotherapist, in the exercise of his professional skill and knowledge, determines, or should determine, that a warning is essential to avert danger arising from the medical or psychological condition of his patient, he incurs a legal obligation to give that warning.")
  • Porter v County of Cook, 42 Ill App 3d 287; 355 NE2d 561 (7 Sep 1976) was a cigarette-fire injury damages case. A mentally ill smoker was confined to jail with his cigarettes. He began hallucinating voices. He set a fire and was severely burned, due to his hallucinating that smoke would drive away the voices he was hearing!

    In the case of Commonwealth v Hughes, 468 Pa 502; 364 A2d 306 (8 Oct 1976), smoker Hughes started a fire at a chemical factory. Firemen trying to put out the fire were killed on the job in the process of putting out the smoker-caused fire. The smoker was arrested for manslaughter in the two deaths. He appealed all the way to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, but lost. Smokers—contrary to lay beliefs—do not have a right to start fires that kill people. The compnay could have avoided the situation, the fire, the deaths, had it followed the 'don't hire smokers' precedents.

    Of course, arson is a crime. So why do smokers do it? There is another tobacco harm / smoker dangerousness aspect that is often overlooked, and that is with respect to its role in drug abuse and crime.  Just as 90% of lung cancer is by smokers, so also 90% of criminals are smokers.   See McKinney v Anderson, 924 F2d 1500, 1507 n 21; 59 USLW 2544 (CA 9, 1991) affirmed and remanded, 509 US 25; 113 S Ct 2475; 125 L Ed 2d 22 (1993).  "Nowhere is the practice of smoking more imbedded than in the nation's prisons and jails, where the proportion of smokers to non-smokers is many times higher than that of society in general." Doughty v Board, 731 F Supp 423, 424 (D Colorado, 1989). [See ALR Context].

    The tobacco-crime link has been known in the profession since the 1830's, and cited many times, by, e.g., Alcott (1836); Hodgkin (1857); Buckley and Trask (1860); Ellis (1901); Lindsay (1914); Torrance (1916); Blum (1924); Danis (1925); Healy and Bonner (1926); Crane, Dawson, Pollock, and Shaw (1931); Wood (1944); etc. Now you know who the arsonists are—mostly smokers, 90%.

              The reason for the tobacco-crime link is that tobacco is the gateway (starter) drug with youngest age of onset (12).   It is the drug that initiates youth into the drug lifestyle.   See Fleming et al., "The Role of Cigarettes in The Initiation and Progression of Early Substance Use," Vol 14, Addictive Behaviors, pp 261-272 (1989).   Nonsmokers are rarely drug abusers or in prison; when they are, it is (as with for example lung cancer), an exception, about at the 10% rate.

              The tobacco-crime link initiated in children and continuing into adulthood is so well-established 1854-present that Michigan banned adulterated and deleterious cigarettes by law in 1909.  Details are at  (a petition to enforce the law, MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216.)

              The media often uses the term "careless smoking," as in "careless smoking caused the fire." The real truth is, smoking causes brain damage in smokers. One of the symptoms is abulia, impaired impulse and ethical controls. The correct term is "mentally disordered smoking." For more details, see our smoking-causes-mental-disorder website.

    Never "blame the smoker," never use the malicious tobacco lobby term, "careless smoking." Smokers do NOT understand the danger tobacco poses. Manufacturers design cigarettes to keep burning, even when left unattended. This intentional design has rendered cigarettes the number one cause of fatal fires in the United States. The many deaths are not "accidents," they are "natural and probable consequences," intentionally caused by manufacturers.

    Why Fire Departments Do NOT Say This

    You wonder, why have American fire fighters been so silent about the fact cigarettes cause so many fires? The issue of why firefighters remain silent about the fact that the intentionally designed cigarette constitutes a major cause of fatal fires is part of the overall corruption. Corruption has an impact so extreme that cigarette-caused fires not only jeopardize firefighters' lives, but also the lives of nonsmokers (such as apartment dwellers or workers in an office building).

    "Ex-Pontiac fire chief convicted of taking a bribe" (Detroit Free Press, 25 April 2013).

    The furniture and clothing industries have made significant gains in reducing the ignition propensity of their products, but the cigarette industry has intentionally not made advances in this area. Manufacturers' intentional fire-causing design could bring more scrutiny and increase the likelihood that government will step in and regulate cigarettes. (Remember, this is the same group that after the Civil War, intentionally altered the cigarette formula to add coumarin, for rat poison, in revenge for the North having won the Civil War.)

    To stave off regulation, cigarette manufacturers use a typical corruption-oriented stategy to

  • 1) eliminate fire-fighter hostility toward them and their killer products, and

  • 2) simultaneously create the myth that manfuacturers are concerned and "doing something" to advance fire safety.
  • This strategy intentionally steers legislators' attention away from recognizing that manufacturers are not pursuing the most effective course to decrease cigarette-related fire deaths: altering their killer product. And of course, not ceasing and desisting making tobacco products in the first place, thereby preventing all tobacco efffects.

    Recall the litigation that forced tobacco pushers to release their formerly secret documents? Here is a pertinent one, helping establish this aspect of corruption. (Think of it as a military document from the enemy, the Confederate Army, intent on killing as many Americans as possible, and undermining our self-defense via arranging treason among our protectors). According to this document (Tobacco Institute, Public Affairs Division Proposed Budget 1991), tobacco pushers have been extraordinarily generous financially to fire fighting organizations, giving "grants" to hundreds of fire departments in major cities across the U.S. for "fire safety education programs" and providing "fire safety education materials."

    This corruption-style tactic effectively quelled criticism of the safety risks of cigarette design by fire service organizations across the country. This is the same method Hitler used to get generals to support him -- lots of $$$, e.g., promotions!

    Notice pushers' use of the malicious term, "careless smoking," blaming the smoker, vs the manufacturer, and disregarding the addiction, mental disorder involved in smoking, and the resultant brain damage including anosognosia and impairment of the brain's self-defense capability.

    This document reveals that the tobacco pushers clearly recognize what they are doing. Yet it contains absolutely no mention of concern for the victims of cigarette-caused fires nor for the safety of the firefighters who must respond to these fires. [This lengthy document also cites pusher strategies to fight public health and safety, but this excerpt is only on the fight against fire-safe cigarette legislation.] Click here to see the first page of the document."

    Excerpts from the secret document: FIRE SAFETY

    Although the number of fire deaths attributed to careless smoking has been trending downward in the last decade, careless smoking still is cited as a leading cause of fire deaths in the United States. The statistic has remained fairly constant over the past several years, which is interpreted . . . as evidence that factors such as smoke detectors and public education must now focus on legislation mandating changes to the cigarette itself. The tobacco industry disagrees with this interpretation.

    Careless smoking constitutes the largest part of residential fire deaths; however, other industries, such as the sprinkler, home builder and furniture industries are responding to pressures from the fire service and legislators by becoming increasingly involved in developing solutions to the residential fire problem.

    Most states will wait for the federal work on the "fire-safe" cigarette[s] [but some] fire service and consumer activists . . . may be impatient with the pace of the federal effort and attempt to pass more stringent cigarette fire safety legislation. . . .

    . . . The Tobacco Institute has helped improve relations between the tobacco industry and the fire service and has demonstrated that the industry is acting responsibly to help deal with the fire problem. The Institute remains a major and respected source of private sector support for fire prevention and education programs in the United States.

    In 1990, the Institute's Fire Safety Education Program grew substantially. We now have working relationships with officials in more than 500 key [fire] departments in the United States. Our materials are now being used in thousands of [fire] departments, including those in more than 200 major cities. More than 85 state, regional and national fire service organization grants have been awarded since the program's inception.

    Fire service hostility to the tobacco industry has subsided, but publicity given the industry in other areas recently has caused some departments to re-evaluate their willingness/ability to accept industry support. That pressure may intensify...

    II. Objectives

    To increase the awareness of and acceptance by key public officials and fire service leaders that the tobacco industry acts voluntarily and responsibly to help decrease accidental fires through fire prevention and fire safety education programs.

    To increase the awareness of and acceptance by key public officials and fire service leaders of the difficulties of producing and regulating a commercially acceptable "fire-safe" cigarette.

    III. Strategies, Goals and Tactics

    Strategy I. Work with fire officials and . . . public officials at the state and/or local levels to . . . increase the availability of education and prevention programs for fire departments.

    Goals and Tactics:

    1. Strengthen the . . . relationships . . . with fire officials over the past nine years of The Institute's Fire Safety Education Program. A working relationship signifies (1) a TI-sponsored program in place; (2) TI staff contact with the local fire service; and (3) awareness or involvement of fire officials or other public officials.

    2. Produce . . . a video on how to structure a basic fire safety education program. Feature the Institute's fire safety education materials and endorsements from users of those materials. The video will be used in legislative and fire service organization briefings . . . .

    3A. Continue funding fire safety education programs of individual fire departments. . . .

    3B. Continue grants to state, regional and national fire service organizations. . . . In presentations at their conferences, update their members on . . . resources available from The Institute.

    3C. Work with state fire marshals to coordinate grants in their states; encourage them to involve public officials in the presentation of grants.

    3E. Follow up on all requests for assistance from fire service and public officials that have produces good results with previous grants from TI.

    4. Seek opportunities to become members of fire service organization public education committees . . . and sit on advisory boards as appropriate...

    5. Work with the Congressional Fire Services Institute to departments with outstanding public fire safety education programs.

    . . . Conduct individual briefings as part of visits to [fire] departments...

    . . . Appear on the programs of at least four national and five regional fire service conferences in 1991. Attend at least a dozen other conference to promote privately industry programs.


    1. New Tools for Volunteer fire Fighters
    2. Challenge for Life secondary school curriculum
    3. FireCare: Fire Safety for Senior Citizens
    5. FireSense: Fire Safety for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired
    7. Project L.I.F.E. elementary school curricula
    8. Chinese-language smoke detector television public service announcement
    9. Burn Concerns, Inc. Juvenile Firesetters Workshops
    10. "How Fast it Burned," University of Georgia college dormitory fire safety video. . . .

    It must be emphasized, the term "careless smoking" is the malicious tobacco lobby term, like a Confederate Army tactic, to point blame at the smoker/Yankees for the deaths, and distract attention off the fact that cigarettes (like slavery before) are illegal in Michigan as per MCL § 750.267, MSA § 28.216. Re "addiction," education is NOT the answer, enforcing the cigarette ban law is. In fact, diverting attention off the Confederate killing process by citing "education" is part of the killing process, like telling Yankee soldiers in the Civil War to 'stop shooting, go to class!' That'd be a sure way for our side to lose that war!

    Keep in mind that just as with tobacco-induced brain damage, anosognosia, acalculia, etc., people with cerebral palsy who CANNOT walk, CANNOT be educated into doing so! When the brain cells handling a body function are dead, they are beyond education.

    Be careful not to fall into tobacco lobby reasoning, and especially, do not take the tobacco lobby position that cigarettes are legal. They are not. See, e.g., constitutional principles, anti-poisoning principles including the "universal malice" concept, and the cigarette ban law

             If this information is new to you, be aware of the rampant pro-tobacco media censorship. The media's wide-spread censorship of tobacco-facts, to the extreme of printing of gross disinformation, has been cited since at least 1930, see Charles M. Fillmore, Tobacco Taboo (Indianapolis: Meigs Pub Co, 1930), pp 88-89; Lennox Johnston, "Cure of Tobacco-Smoking," 263 The Lancet 480, 482 (6 September 1952); and George Seldes, Never Tire of Protesting, (New York: Lyle Stuart Inc, 1968), Chapters 7-10, pp 61-99. (Seldes founded

             When rarely (as normally "the press has suppressed or withheld the facts concerning tobacco toxicity from the American people"), something is published, the material often goes unread as the tobacco taboo goes to the extreme of widespread refusal "even to read any book or article which refers to the harmfulness of tobacco . . . or in any other way exposes the evils of the drug." See Frank L. Wood, M.D., What You Should Know About Tobacco (Wichita, KS: The Wichita Publishing Co, 1944), pp 33 and 63. Our tobacco taboo website opposing pro-tobacco censorship has more details.

    Remember, to the media, fires are news; prevention is not!! Your tragedy, your property damage or being burned alive, is their tomorrow's sales pitch! To criminal law system employees, your tragedy, your property damage or being burned alive, is their job security. For such occupations, prevention is a job killer for them. And so they intensely, continuingly, vigorously, passionately, vehemently, support, aid and abet the tobacco taboo to keep such data from you.

    Related websites include the following:

    Abortion AIDS Alcoholism Alzheimer's Birth Defects
    Crime Divorce Drugs Heart Disease Lung Cancer
    Mental Disorders Seat Belt Disuse SIDS Suicide The Full List

    Iowa in 1897, Tennessee in 1897, and Michigan in 1909 were leaders in attempting to prevent fires by banning the manufacture and sale of cigarettes.

    Tennessee's 1897 Law
    Iowa's 1897 Law
    Michigan's 1909 Law
    The "Fire-Safe Cigarette" Concept
    Tobacco Effects Overview

    Six states have enacted fire-safe cigarette laws, New York, Vermont, California, Illinois and New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. This requires paper with fire-retardant bands that put out unpuffed cigarettes. Tobacco pushers oppose such laws. Cigarettes are the No. 1 cause of fire deaths in the U.S. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that 700 to 800 people are killed annually in the U. S. by fires caused by unattended cigarettes.

    In 1999, National Fire Prevention Week was October 3-9, the anniversary week of the 1871 Chicago Fire, the worst urban fire in U.S. history, tragically, caused by smoking.

    "A recent house fire that killed 10 people in Bardstown, Ky. -- caused by a smoldering cigarette -- has advocates calling for state legislation to require all cigarettes to be designed to self-extinguish if left unattended," says the article "Deadly Ky. Fire Sparks Fire-Safe Cigarette Push" (23 February 2007). "Fires caused by cigarettes kill 700 to 900 people annually in the U.S., and cigarettes are blamed for a third of all fires in Kentucky."

    Half of Utica, Michigan (north of Detroit) was burned 8 May 1904, says "Big Fire at Utica: Fully Half of the Heart of This Village Has Been Destroyed: By a Conflagration Which Raged Nearly All Day on Sunday Last" (The Utica Sentinel, May 1904, p 1), and at centennial, by Jon Ottman, "Burn of the Century," The Source, pp A1, A8-A9, and A11 (9 May 2004). “Joe Weinburger . . . was asleep in the [hotel] barn” (p A8) after “apparently admitting to authorities that he had been smoking in the barn prior to the fire . . . believed to have started the fire” so was “arrested . . . to face a charge of 'incendiarism' before . . . Judge Wilcox” (p A9).

    A few years later, the famous Triangle Fire occurred Saturday afternoon, March 25, 1911, on the eighth floor of the Asch Building in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. The fire started on the 8th floor of the building from a cigarette. There were 200+ mostly women on the 9th floor, 146 workers were killed. That incident changed how workers were treated, but changes to cigarettes or smoking did not occur. (Incidentally, note the censorship of the cigarette aspect; reports may distract off cigarettes, blur the location and manner of the fire's cause, etc., pursuant to the taboo censorship policy.)

    History repeats itself. See, e.g., “Smoker charged in fatal fire: Dropped cigarette caused November apartment blaze that killed toddler, officials say,” by Chad Halcom, Macomb Daily, page 1A (18 March 2006), and “Reckless smoker a killer, cops say,” by George Hunter and Edward L. Cardenas, Detroit News, page 4B (21 March 2006). The smoker, Paul E. Renwick, was convicted 28 September 2006, says the article, "Smoker convicted in fire that killed infant: He gets manslaughter for accidentally igniting oxygen tank with cigarette," by Chad Halcom (29 September 2006). And "some evidence suggested he had started fires with his cigarettes before, but he had not heeded the repeated warnings." Of course, that is what addiction does, hence, the only solution is to ban the cause, cigarettes.

    See also Gordon Wilczynski, "Blast levels home; three family members severely burned" (Macomb Daily, 22 May 2007).

    These recent incidents occur notwithstanding the fact that in 1909, Michigan, to prevent exactly this type of incident caused by smokers (addicted, abulic, impulse control-impaired, unable to learn from experience), passed a law (MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216) banning cigarette manufacturing, give-away, and selling! For background on this law, click here. But the law is never enforced, nor obeyed. So such smoker-fire-death incidents occur and recur as natural and probable consequences" events.

    For Further Information
    Tobacco & Elderly Notes Newsletter (Spring/Summer 1997)
    The National Fire Prevention Association
    Profitability of Arson

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