FIRE chiefs hope a new safety standard on cigarettes will help save lives across the county.
A recent EU safety standard means cigarettes sold in the UK should have special chemical bands in their structure so that cigarettes go out if not actively smoked.
Councillor Christine Bampton-Smith (Lib Dem, Luddenden Foot), vice-chairwoman of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority’s Community Safety Committee welcomed the move.
She said: “This is a very positive idea that will save lives and I hope the standard becomes compulsory.”
Committee chairwoman, Leeds Councillor Andrea McKenna said: “This is a wonderful step forward because it provides a ‘presumption of safety’ which could lead to rogue products being taken off the market.” Each year in West Yorkshire, around 170 fires are started by smoking materials,
In 2011 these incidents claimed the lives of seven people in West Yorkshire.
It is hoped the new rules will avoid tragedies such as the deaths of three young children in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.
Children Maddie, three, William, nine and AJ, five were killed in a fire which left their mother Samantha Hudson, 27, seriously injured in November 2010. Safe cigarettes are already in force in Canada, Australia, Finland and some parts of the USA however the changes will not have as much of a worldwide impact that safety chiefs would hope whilst the standard remains voluntary.