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Consumers (18-04-2008)

EU ban on sale of non-child resistant and novelty cigarette lighters valid until 11 May 2009

Today the European Commission adopted a Decision prolonging the validity of Decision 2006/502/EC until 11 May 2009, requiring Member States to ensure that only child-resistant lighters are placed on the market, and banning the placing on the market of novelty lighters. Misuse of cigarette lighters in play by young children causes a significant number of serious fire accidents. It is estimated that between 1,500 and 1,900 injuries and 34 to 40 fatalities per year in the EU are due to fire-related accidents caused by children playing with lighters. Child-resistance mechanisms (making it difficult or impossible for kids to operate lighters) help prevent such accidents. The child-resistance requirement of the Decision applies to roughly 98% of all lighters sold in the EU each year, including all disposable, plastic lighters and low-cost metal lighters. "Novelty lighters" resemble objects that are especially appealing to children (for instance toys, mobile phones, food, cars, etc.) and therefore present a high risk of misuse.
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