Background Changes in cigarette design to meet mandated fire safety standards may have unintended effects on smoker responses by diminishing the consumer's perceptions of product acceptability, smoking and increasing fire-risk behaviours. To address these concerns, population-level data are needed from a jurisdiction where reduced ignition propensity (RIP) cigarettes have been introduced.
Methods A cohort of adult smokers was recruited in Massachusetts, USA using a random-digit-dialled telephone survey. The cohort was contacted prior to, and 8 months following, the state-mandated introduction of RIP cigarettes on 1 January 2008. Changes in self-reported subjective cigarette characteristics, smoking topography, fire-risk behaviours, fire events and quitting intentions were assessed.
Results A total of 620 Massachusetts smokers completed the baseline survey conducted prior to implementation of the law, and 353 (57%) completed the follow-up survey conducted after implementation. No significant changes were found in self-reported fire-risk behaviour or quitting intentions. In addition, smokers were less likely to report smoking greater than 20 cigarettes per day and inhaling deeply into the chest after the law.
Conclusions The introduction of RIP cigarettes in Massachusetts yielded little change, and no adverse effect, on self-reported smoker response, among a sample of mostly Caucasian smokers.
- Fire safe cigarettes
- public policy
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