Thursday, February 14, 2008

FSCs pose health risks

Here's one FSC article I found. With the help of a poster on Smokers Club forum.

Fire-safe cigarettes pose health risks
Oakland Tribune, Jun 27, 2005 by Steve Geissinger, SACRAMENTO BUREAU

SACRAMENTO -- A bill by Democratic lawmakers that is aimed at making cigarettes more fire safe -- but would make them potentially more dangerous to smokers' health -- faces its last key hurdle in the Legislature today.

The Assembly bill, set for a Senate hearing and then likely swift final approval, has advanced without discussion of data buried in a Harvard School of Public Health study this year that shows fire- safe cigarettes contain at least 10 percent more of two harmful ingredients.

At the same time, recent state fire statistics indicate the measure may not be crucial to preventing deaths of smokers or firefighters due to longtime household fire-proofing rules and other factors. Nationally, activists have tied hundreds of deaths to unattended cigarettes.

The legislation, which would ban the sale of traditional cigarettes starting next year, also could cost the deficit-ridden state millions in tax revenue as smokers dodge higher California cigarette prices by making purchases on the Internet or elsewhere, according to state tax officials.

The measure -- principally authored by Assemblywoman Wilma Chan, D-Oakland, and Assemblyman Paul Koretz,

D-West Hollywood -- mimics legislation adopted by New York and under consideration in a handful of other states with support from health and public safety groups.

While some U.S. cigarette makers have remained neutral on the California bill, others have opposed it, citing costs and other problems.

But Koretz said that "we now know that not only are these cigarettes easy to manufacture, but they are as acceptable to consumers as regular cigarettes."

"How many more lives must be lost before other states gain access to safer cigarettes," Koretz said, referring to out-of-state lawsuits over the issue and other legal battles involving the tobacco industry.

The Harvard report on fire-safe cigarettes shows in complex tables that levels of carbon monoxide -- related to heart disease -- and naphthalene -- linked to cancer -- are boosted the most when manufacturers use special, banded paper that slows burning, which is helpful when a cigarette is left unattended.

Carbon monoxide is boosted by 11.4 percent and naphthalene by 13.9 percent. Other carcinogens, such as fluorine, are increased by about 6 percent.

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