Local News

Lawmakers OK ban on novelty lighters

Posted June 19, 2009 12:34 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina lawmakers have approved a ban on the sale and distribution of lighters that look like toys.

The state Child Fatality Task Force, which investigates child deaths, recommended a novelty-lighter ban to protect children. Senate Bill 652, which would make selling such lighters punishable by a $500 fine, won final approval in the General Assembly on Thursday.

The legislation still must be signed into law by Gov. Beverly Perdue.

Novelty lighters come in a variety of shapes, from a little pig to a wolf with flashing blue eyes to an elephant to a NASCAR helmet. Some even look like cigarettes.

They are sold primarily in tobacco shops, where they're stored behind glass.

Arkansas, Maine and Oregon have already banned novelty lighters.