Background Over the last decade several safety related legislations have been adopted in Estonia. In this study I focused on the effects of mandatory smoking alarm regulation (2009), lower ignition propensity (LIP) cigarette standard (2011) and quantitative limits for tobacco products with travelers arriving to Estonia from non-European Union country (2013). The aim of the latter was to combat cigarette smuggling but it also contributed to the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which is one of the targets of Sustainable Development Goals.
Methods A time series regression analysis on monthly house fires data for 2007–2019 was conducted. To deal with the autocorrelation I estimated the models with ARIMA errors. Causal claims were established through counterfactual models.
Results I found strong intervention effects of smoking alarm and LIP cigarette interventions, both decreased the level of cigarette-related fires by 25% or more (p<0.01). Quantitative limits for tobacco products were also detected to contribute to the reduction of cigarette-related fires but this evidence was weaker. Counterfactual models confirmed causal relationship between the interventions and house fires.
Conclusions The legislative policies examined in this study have reduced the level of house fires in Estonia.
Learning Outcomes While it was expected that smoking alarm or LIP cigarette regulations affect the house fires, the fire safety effect of border control regulation was an interesting finding. It shows that the legislative measures against illicit trade can also induce other positive safety effects.
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