A literature review was conducted to summarize research reports available on the wildfire ignition potential of cigarettes. Articles from 1933 to 2021 were compiled and analyzed. The search included publications on cigarette physical characteristics, ignition thresholds, cigarette behavioral response to variable environmental conditions and statistical studies regarding impact on wildfire in Canada.
According to the information gathered during the review, a cigarette can start a fire in wildland fuels but requires very specific physical and environmental conditions. However, this review also highlighted many gaps in the literature on the subject. Articles published are limited; experimental methods are often not scientifically sound and lack
standardization. Furthermore, there are inconsistencies around the definition of the term “ignition”. A couple of factors are of the utmost importance in cigarette-caused fires
according to research: wind and fuel moisture content (FMC). There is plenty of evidence showing that air flow is necessary up to a certain level to obtain ignition. Data also show that the FMC must remain below a certain fuel-dependent threshold.