he said. "If there is one fire death, it is one too many from this type
State Sen. Adam Schiff (D-Glendale) thinks "fire-safe" cigarettes
could be part of the solution to this problem.
The Senate's Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday approved
Senate Bill 2070, which would require cigarettes sold in California be
produced in a way that makes them less likely to start fires.
The legislation suggests techniques, such as lowering a cigarette's
tobacco density and eliminating citrate from its paper.
"The tobacco companies have had the technology for years and simply
haven't employed it," Schiff said. "If we did, we could prevent literally
thousands of fire deaths."
Schiff said the San Rafael Hills Fire in December prompted him to look
into fire safety legislation.
Authorities have yet to determine the cause of the blaze but initial
reports indicated it was started by an electrical transformer or fallen
Glendale Fire Chief Richard Hinz was intrigued by the concept of
"Any innovative approach to reducing the cause of accidental fires is
always worth exploring," he said.
When asked if the "fire-safe" label might make smokers less cautious,
Schiff said: "No one is going to claim that these are fireproof
cigarettes. It just makes them safer."