Congress Seeks Ban onDangerous Novelty Lighters
Toy look-a-likes cause severe injuries and death to children
Responding to calls from fire prevention and child safety groups across the country, legislation has been introduced
on Capitol Hill to ban cigarette lighters constructed to look like toys or regular household items.
The Protect Children from Dangerous Lighters Act of 2008 (H.R. 6488 / S. 3375) would require the Consumer
Product Safety Commission to treat novelty lighters as a banned hazardous substance which would prohibit the
manufacture, importation, or sale of the lighters anywhere in the country.
Currently the lighters are easily purchased in convenience stores in many states, though Maine and Tennessee have
already passed novelty lighter bans, and a similar law is being introduced in Oregon. Here at home in New York, I
too, will be seeking similar legislation to help ensure our children never suffer a tragedy due to novelty lighters.
Commonly referred to as “novelty lighters,” the toy-like devices naturally appeal to small children. Appearing to
be harmless toys, novelty lighters have proven to be incredibly dangerous to young children and a nationwide ban,
which is supported by firefighting, consumer and child safety groups alike, is the best way to keep these dangerous
products out of the hands of youngsters.
The federal ban is supported by: the National Association of State Fire Marshals, the Congressional Fire Service
Institute, Safe Kids USA, the Consumer's Union, and the Consumer Federation of America. In addition, the ban is
supported by the cigarette lighter industry, as represented by the Lighter Association.
I urge the members of New York State's fire service and our emergency medical community to contact their elected
representatives in Washington and voice their support for this important legislation.
Floyd A. Madison
State Fire Administrator