Impact Assessment of New York State's Cigarette Fire Safety Performance Standard

"Low-Ignition cigarettes" have gained increasing recognition as a potentially viable way to reduce loss of life and property damage from accidental fires. The New York State legislature was interested in passing legislation to set a standard requiring all cigarettes sold in the State to meet that low ignition standard. Opponents had argued that there would be a negative economic impact from increasing costs for cigarettes to meet that standard.

To address these issues, the National Institute of Standards and Technology turned to TIA Consulting and Economic Development Research Group to evaluate economic impacts of cigarette fire safety standards. The study examined several alternative scenarios for the standard and the expected impacts on the NY State economy. This included direct human costs of residential fires caused by cigarettes, including number of deaths and injuries, and the value of fire property damage. It also included economic effects of reduced fire losses and changes in cigarette purchase costs, household expenditures, income and excise tax revenues.

Upon completion of this study, New York State became the first state in the nation to pass legislation to require implementation of low ignition standards for all cigarettes sold there.

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