Since November 2011, all cigarettes sold in the EU must be “self-extinguishing” (RIP = reduced ignition propensity). A study by SP Sweden (Technical Research Institute of Sweden) for MSB (Sweden’s civil contingencies agency) suggests that cigarettes are continuing to cause a large number of fire-related deaths despite their respecting the specified RIP test (EN16156).
SP indicates that the RIP cigarette legislation has not produced any observable effects in relation to either statistics for fire-related deaths or to fire statistics in general. Furthermore, in EN 1201-1 tests with furniture materials and textiles, over 2/3 of tested cigarettes burnt their full length despite being RIP. In some cases they caused materials to start smouldering. SP concludes that “upholstery material, surface fabrics, and the test configuration are factors that have greater impact on ignition propensity than the actual type of cigarette”.