and 2,500 injuries annually (Barillo et al., 2000; Brigham and McGuire, 1995). Often, fires are caused by the ignition of upholstered furniture and mattresses by lit cigarettes (Achauer and McGuire, 1989). Many fires also involve the use of alcohol by the smoker (Botkin, 1988). The fire hazard of cigarettes stems from the fact that a cigarette continues to burn until completely consumed.
There has been a push from the public health community to force cigarette manufacturers to modify cigarettes to reduce their combustibility (Chapman, 1999). In response to pressure from various organizations to decrease the danger of improperly discarded cigarettes, the Cigarette Safety Act of 1984 was signed. This act created the Technical Study Group in 1987 to study the technical and commercial feasibility of developing a fire-safe cigarette. This group was comprised of representatives of different medical organizations, federal agencies, the furniture industry, fire service, and four of the top tobacco companies (Barillo et al., 2000). The report of this group stated that it was technically and commercially feasible to develop fire-safe cigarettes and that a reduction of up to 90% in morbidity and mortality could be reached if such modifications were made (Achauer and McGuire, 1989). The main characteristics of cigarettes that were found to significantly decrease flammability included decreased packing density, smaller cigarette circumference, decreased paper porosity, and reduction of citrate—a paper-burning additive (Achauer and McGuire, 1989). The Fire Safe Act was passed in 1990 and mandated further study of the issue based on the recommendations of the Technical Study Group. The Technical Advisory Group was formed which developed cigarette fire-safety test methods. No federal legislation has been passed up to this time that has set a fire-safety standard for cigarettes. In June 2000, however, the state of New York passed a cigarette fire-safety bill that would require all cigarettes sold in New York to meet flammability standards by 2003 (Perez-Pena, 2000).
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disease affecting 1–2% of the population that is characterized by motor dysfunction and, in severe cases, cognitive dysfunction caused by loss of dopamine and other neurotransmitters through the destruction of neurons in the substantia nigra. Over the last decade there have been many epidemiological studies suggesting a biologically protective effect of cigarette smoking on the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Numerous population based case-control and prospective studies have indicated an inverse dose-response relationship between smoking and Parkinson’s disease (Checkoway and Nelson, 1999; Gorell et al., 1999; Grandinetti et al., 1994; Tzourio et al., 1997). In a large 26-year