Disposable cigarette lighters

DOWNLOAD PDF

What is a disposable cigarette lighter?

A disposable cigarette lighter is a device used for lighting cigarettes. It is designed to be re-filled or thrown away when it is empty of lighter fuel. 1

How may children be injured when using a disposable cigarette lighter?

Burns

Children may get burnt if they set an object alight using the cigarette lighter. Children often do not understand that a small flame can grow into a dangerous fire very quickly. Children may also get burnt from touching the flame on the lighter.

How common are these injuries?

In Australia between 2004 and 2013, 11 children aged 0-17 years died in incidents linked to the use of disposable cigarette lighters.2

Is there a Law or an Australian Standard for disposable cigarette lighters?

The Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standard) (Disposable Cigarette Lighters) Regulations 1997 (Cth) states that all disposable, novelty and certain refillable lighters sold must meet performance and labelling requirements. They must have a device, e.g. a button, release catch or metal guard which makes it difficult for small children to operate the lighter. Lighters must also be permanently marked;

WARNING - KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN or

WARNING - KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN3

There is a permanent ban on toy-like novelty cigarette lighters as young children may mistake these lighters for toys. This has been in place since 1 February 2011.

Remember:

  • Always keep lighters and matches away from children.
  • If there are smokers in your home, make sure that cigarettes, matches and ashtrays are kept out of children’s reach.
  • Do not ask your child to get lighters or matches for you.
  • Do not smoke cigarettes around young children.
  • Do not hold young children when you are smoking.
  • Only buy lighters with a child-resistant mechanism and make sure they have a warning label regarding children.
  • Remember that child-resistant lighters are NOT child-proof.

References

1 Office of Consumer and Business Affairs, South Australia (2004). Disposable Cigarette Lighters.  Available from: http://www.ocba.sa.gov.au/productsafety/standards/disposable.html

2 NSW Child Death Review Team (2014) Annual Report 2013. Sydney: NSW Ombudsman. Accessed 24/02/2016 from: https://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/19628/CDRT-Annual-Report-2013.pdf

3Product Safety Australia (2015) Cigarette lighters (disposable). Available from: https://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/974700/fromItemId/974695