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Europe lights up to reduce cigarette-ignited fires


16 Nov 2011


Health & Consumers

ANEC, the European Consumer Voice in Standardisation, welcomes that as of tomorrow (Thursday), tobacco manufacturers are required to produce and market only reduced-ignition propensity cigarettes in the EU.

The European Commission estimates that each year, a minimum of 1,000 fatalities are caused by cigarettes left unattended. Fire safety measures introduced in Canada, several states in the USA and also in Finland since 2010, show that accidental fire deaths have fallen dramatically since the introduction of such measures.

In 2008, the European Commission adopted safety requirements(1) for reduced ignition propensity (‘RIP’) cigarettes following discussions with Member States and stakeholders, including ANEC. Consequently, European safety standards(2) were established to which all cigarettes sold in the EU must conform from tomorrow. 

Stephen Russell, ANEC Secretary-General, commented: “Regardless of one’s personal view of smoking, ANEC welcomes this initiative as a contribution to improved consumer safety. It is an important step forward in the prevention of domestic fires and related deaths. We trust the European Commission will resource co-ordinated market surveillance actions among Member States in order to enforce these new measures”.


(1)  COMMISSION DECISION of 25 March 2008 on the fire safety requirements to be met by European standards for cigarettes pursuant to Directive 2001/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council

(2) EN 16156:2010 ‘Cigarettes – Assessment of the ignition propensity – Safety requirement’ and EN ISO 12863:2010 ‘Standard test method for assessing the ignition propensity of cigarettes’

ANEC in brief

Raising standards for consumers

ANEC is the European consumer voice in standardisation, defending consumer interests in the processes of technical standardisation and conformity assessment as well as related legislation and public policies. ANEC was established in 1995 as an international non-profit association under Belgian law and represents consumer organisations from 31 European countries. ANEC is funded by the European Union and EFTA, with national consumer organisations contributing in kind. Its Secretariat is based in Brussels.

More information:

Raising standards for consumers

Avenue de Tervueren 32, box 27

BE-1040 Brussels

Tel. +32(0)2 743 24 75

Fax +32(0)2 706 54 30 

EC transparency register: identification number 507800799-30 



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