To identify the prevalence and correlates of behaviors related to the risk of cigarette‐caused fires.
Design and setting
Random‐digit‐dialed telephone survey in Ontario, Canada, July–September, 2005.
596 current cigarette smokers.
Prevalence of fire‐risk events and behaviors such as burning clothing or objects in the home, leaving lit cigarettes unattended, dozing while smoking, and smoking in bed and correlates of these behaviors. Respondents were also asked if they ever worry about cigarette‐caused fires.
One in four smokers admitted to leaving lit cigarettes unattended in the last 30 days, while 15% admitted to smoking while in bed. Leaving lit cigarettes unattended was independent of demographic, socioeconomic or nicotine dependence indicators, but was related to worry about burning other persons with a cigarette (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.04 to 2.85) and smoking inside the home (OR 2.98, 95% CI 1.66 to 5.35). Persons who were not white (OR 3.97, 95% CI 1.80 to 8.80), aged 18–24 years (OR 3.75, 95% CI 1.41 to 9.96), who had high nicotine dependence (OR 9.13, 95% CI 2.22 to 37.52) and worried about burning objects in their home (OR 2.43, 95% CI 1.31 to 4.52) were more likely to smoke in bed. 10 (1.7%) smokers reported having ever had a fire in their home started by a cigarette.
Smokers engage in behaviors such as smoking in bed and leaving lit cigarettes unattended that may place them at an increased risk of cigarette‐caused fires. As governments move to regulate cigarette ignition propensity, it is important to establish surveillance for behaviors related to fire risk.