Safety requirement for novelty lighters approved

Cigarette lighters sold in Nebraska that resemble children’s toys will require a safety feature under a bill passed by the Legislature Feb. 7.

LB403, introduced by Hastings Sen. Les Seiler, outlaws the sale of novelty lighters in Nebraska without a child-proof safety feature.

The bill defines a novelty lighter as a mechanical or electrical device typically used for lighting cigarettes, cigars or pipes and designed to resemble a cartoon character, toy, gun, watch, musical instrument, vehicle, animal, food or beverage container or a similar item that plays musical notes, has flashing lights or has more than one button or function.

The bill does not apply to standard refillable lighters or lighters:
• manufactured prior to Jan. 1, 1980;
• incapable of being fueled or lacking a device necessary to produce combustion or flame; and
• that are disposable and printed or decorated with a logo, label, decal, artwork or heat shrinkable sleeve.

Novelty lighters being transported through Nebraska or stored in nonretail facilities in the state also are exempt from the ban.

Senators passed the bill on a 34-6 vote.

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