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January 2008

Smoking/Fire-Safe Cigarettes

Smoking is the number one cause of home fire deaths in the United States. Every year, men, women and children are killed in home fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials. Most victims of smoking related fires never thought it could happen to them. These fires can affect not only the smoker, but others living in or next to the home at the time of the fire.

New York State has approved legislation that brought fire-safe cigarettes into law. Fire-safe cigarettes are made with a special paper that allows the cigarette to self extinguish if not being smoked. This measure hopes to decrease the number of fires and casualties caused by careless and improper disposal of smoking materials.

  • If You Smoke, Smoke Outside

    Most home fires caused by smoking materials start inside the home. It's better to smoke outside.
  • Wherever You Smoke, Use Deep, Sturdy Ashtrays

    Use ashtrays with a wide, stable base that are hard to tip over. If it wobbles, it won't work. Ashtrays should be set on something sturdy and hard to ignite, like a table. If you smoke outside, put your cigarettes out in a can filled with sand.
  • Make Sure Cigarettes and Ashes are Out

    Put It Out. All the Way. Every Time. The cigarette really needs to be completely stubbed out in the ashtray. Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash.
  • Check for Butts

    Chairs and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast. Don't put ashtrays on them. If people have been smoking in the home, check for cigarettes under cushions.
  • Never Smoke in a Home Where Oxygen is Used

    Never smoke while using oxygen or are anywhere near an oxygen source, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
  • If You Smoke, Fire-Safe Cigarettes are Better

    Fire-safe cigarettes are less likely to cause fires. These cigarettes have banded paper that can slow the burn of a cigarette that isn't being used.
  • Be Alert

    To prevent a deadly fire, you have to be alert. If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first. Smoking in bed is just plain wrong.

Note: The University recognizes the serious and substantial public health risk and productivity problems caused by smoking and has adopted a smoke free policy for all university buildings and facilities.

In case of a fire or other emergency, please call University Police. Dial 911 from any campus phone or (631) 632-3333.

Additional information is available at the following websites:

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