Table 1

 Timeline of Tobacco Institute funding and major events related to fire-safe cigarettes

YearBudget* ($000)Major events
*Amounts represent dollars budgeted by the Tobacco Institute’s Public Affairs Division for addressing the fire safety issue.20,83–94
†No further documents indicating public affairs division support for fire safety; small amounts of funding (in tens of thousands of dollars) are dedicated to fire safety related issues under budgets for general coalitions or general administration each year.
1979Congressmen Moakley and Cranston introduce bill requiring tobacco companies to comply with Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard that cigarettes stop burning within 5 minutes if not smoked. Major fire fighting organisations, including the firefighters’ union (IAFF), endorse bill
1982Tobacco Institute (TI) president describes the issue of fire-safe cigarettes as a “runaway freight train”, recommending industry action to reverse trend. TI devises master plan to court firefighter organisations and to produce “diversionary” science
1984An amended Moakley-Cranston bill, supported by the IAFF and most other fire service groups, passes. Law calls for formation of an Interagency Committee
1985477Interagency Committee comprised of 15 members pulled from government agencies, the cigarette industry, the furniture industry, public health organisations, the firefighters’ union, and fire safety organisations
1987628The Interagency Committee finds that it is technically, economically, and commercially feasible to develop a cigarette that is less likely to cause fires and develops methods for testing such cigarettes. Nonetheless, the committee recommends more research
1988835Competing fire-safe cigarette bills introduced, one by Moakley and the other by Bliley (“the Congressman from Philip Morris”). Over the next year, the IAFF and other fire service groups support various versions of one or both bills
1989945Several fire service organisations switched their endorsement to the Moakley bill or gave their exclusive endorsement to the Moakley bill
1990865Institute progress report expresses concern that the IAFF had switched from supporting Bliley bill to endorsing Moakley’s bill, and vows to shore up existing fire service support. IAFF testifies in Congress in support of the Moakley Bill. Moakley compromises, allowing forestalling of regulations mandating fire-safe cigarettes, but ordering the CPSC to develop a standard test to determine cigarette ignition propensity. With support from the IAFF and most other fire service organisations, this bill was enacted as the Fire-Safe Cigarette Act of 1990 (Public Law No: 101-352)
1991835Moakley reintroduces fire-safe cigarette bills each year
1993700The CPSC reports to Congress that a fire safety test method had been developed, but informs Senate that it is beyond their “jurisdiction and capability” to develop a performance standard. CPSC chair admits to Moakley that two of the three CPSC commissioners were swayed by special interest groups
1994–1998Republicans gain control of Congress; no progress made on fire-safe cigarettes. TI disbands in 1998 under terms of Master Settlement Agreement
1999Moakley files bill to establish a cigarette safety standard and direct the CPSC to implement this standard within 18 months of the date of enactment
2001Moakley dies
2003Congressmen Markey and King file Moakley Memorial Bill to establish federal cigarette fire safety standards; bill is pending
2004Major fire service organisations in the USA, including the IAFF, national volunteer fire council, fire chiefs, state fire marshals, among others, endorse fire-safe cigarette bill. Senator Durbin introduces senate version of bill