FSC vs Non-FSC Cigarettes...
What are FSC Cigarettes?|
”FSC” stands for “Fire Standards Compliant” and is often found above the bar code or bottom of a pack of FSC cigarettes. FSC cigarettes incorporate a special paper with two bands of thicker paper glued & wrapped around the circumference, spaced along the tobacco portion of the cigarette. The thought was to reduce the possibility of an unattended cigarette accidentally igniting a fire. The hope is the new cigarette paper will extinguish a FSC cigarette, before it is able to burn to the end of the remaining length of cigarette, and will do so, more than 75% of the time.
Which States Sell FSC cigarettes?
FSC cigarettes are now being sold in every State in the union. Wyoming was the last of the 50 States to have its legislature mandate the FSC requirement. Even if folks in some States were to prefer Non-FSC cigarettes over the mandated FSC cigarettes of other States and Canada, it’s simply cheaper to produce cigarettes with all the same FSC paper. Packing and distribution are simplified. If you are looking for a Non-FSC State, existing supplies of Non-FSC cigarettes are quickly running out. Eventually the only Non-FSC cigarettes will be found in Non-FSC Countries. The most trusted being our intimate Allie the Philippine Islands, similar to Cuba but, without the embargo.
Are FSC Cigarettes Fire Safe?
Extra care should be taken when handling FSC cigarettes. Just because the cigarettes are marked FSC “Fire Safe Compliant” does not mean they are not hot or extra hot. In fact the FSC cigarette’s slow burn rate causes "ash fall off" at a greater frequency over that of a Non-FSC cigarette, increasing the risk of igniting an accidental fire. There has been increasing reports of minor burns resulting from hot embers unexpectedly released from burning FSC cigarettes. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security; treat FSC cigarettes with caution, as you would any heat source. Most important, keep lit cigarettes out of bed. If you must smoke in bed, be sure your bedding is Fire Safe, secure combustibles such as newspapers & long hair, and finally avoid flammable sleep wear.
Are FSC Cigarettes more Toxic than Non-FSC Cigarettes?
Harvard School of Public Health study* measured the toxicity levels of Fire Safe Cigarettes compared to Non-FSC Cigarettes and the results are as follows: FSC cigarettes tested 3% higher in Tar, 11.4% higher in Carbon Monoxide and, 5 compounds (all being polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons) had significantly higher levels than Non-FSC Cigarettes. On the other hand, Nicotine levels were 1.8% lower. To summarize, one would need to inhale slightly deeper from a more toxic FSC cigarette to receive the nicotine equal to a Non-FSC cigarette. FSC cigarettes are also known as (RIP) “Reduced Ignition Propensity”.
Do FSC cigarettes pose an extra health risk?
Long term studies of the health effects of FSC cigarettes on humans have been lacking. Current information is sketchy at best. There are however, preliminary indications, the adhesive in FSC Cigarettes increases the risk of tumors in lab animals. The lack of scientific evidence has not stopped the flow of levied complaints. Reports range from an unpleasant taste, to headaches, unusual coughing, mouth and throat sores, nausea and general “sick feeling”. Although findings remain inconclusive, symptoms usually disappear shortly after returning to Non-FSC cigarettes.
Is there an Effort to Lift Prohibition on Non-FSC Cigarettes?
There is a State wide petition circulating Pennsylvania which currently has about 26,700 signatures.
What is the FSC Cigarette Technical Requirement?
FSC cigarettes are generally required to exhibit less than 25% “full length burns” using ASTM 2187-04 or E2187 prescribed laboratory test method, developed by ASTM International.
* "Fire Safer Cigarettes" The Effect of the New York State Fire Safety Standard On Ignition Propensity, Smoke Toxicity, and the Consumer Market. Hillel R. Alpert, Carrie Carpenter, Gregory N. Connolly, Vaughan Rees, Geoffrey Ferris Wayne. Harvard School of Public Health, 2005, http://firesafecigarettes.org/assets/files/HarvardStudy.pdf