Novelty Cigarette Lighter Ban Sent to Arkansas Governor

March 5, 2009

The Arkansas House of Representatives has approved a ban on cigarette lighters that look like children’s toys.

The ban on novelty lighters, which now goes to Gov. Mike Beebe, came about after the death of two Russellville children who died in a house fire after playing with a lighter shaped like a motorcycle.

“These lighters look like toys,” said the bill’s House sponsor, Rep. George Overbey. “They light up, the frog’s eyes will light up, and he’ll start making his froggy sound, and then a flame will fly out of him.”

Several cities in Arkansas banned the lighters after the 2007 deaths of 15-month-old Peyton Edwards and 2-year-old Breydon Edwards.

The novelty lighters, often found in convenience stores and gas stations, can look like cell phones, dinosaurs, key chains and plastic animals – shapes that could catch the eyes of young children.

The measure has was previously approved by the Senate, and Beebe’s office has said the governor plans to sign it into law. The bill sets a fine of between $25 to $500 for retailers selling the lighters.

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