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Potentially unsafe cigarette lighters on sale

Media Release
Issued 27 May 2004-05/135

Potentially unsafe cigarette lighters may be on sale

The Commerce Commission is warning the public and retailers that unsafe novelty cigarette lighters may be on sale to the public.

The Commission is asking retailers of cigarette lighters to ensure they comply with the relevant safety standards.

The Commission’s concerns were raised following a settlement reached with Fortune Star Limited of Petone in Wellington.

“Examination of the novelty lighters being supplied by Fortune Star showed no evidence of a child resistance mechanism, and we were concerned they could be dangerous in the wrong hands,” according to the Commission’s Director of Fair Trading, Deborah Battell.

The Commission investigated Fortune Star for supplying and offering to supply novelty cigarette lighters that did not appear to be child resistant. Fortune Star was also unable to produce a Certificate of Compliance for the lighters when requested to do so by the Commission.

The Product Safety Standard (Cigarette Lighters) Regulations 1998 require that all disposable cigarette lighters and refillable lighters (including novelty lighters) with a customs value of less than $3.50 must be child resistant. The Regulations also require any manufacturer, importer or supplier of cigarette lighters covered by the Regulations to produce a Certificate of Compliance for the lighters within 10 days of being requested to do so by the Commission.

“Fortune Star was unable to tell us who they obtained the lighters from, other than to say that they were purchased at a market in Auckland, so we are worried that others may be in the market,” she said.

“Because these lighters are potentially dangerous in the hands of children, we urge any consumers who have purchased them to destroy them, and tell us where they got them from. Also, if anyone knows of a trader who is offering these lighters for sale, please let us know” said Ms Battell.

Fortune Star has acknowledged that the lighters may not comply with the Regulations, and has undertaken not to supply or offer to supply any more cigarette lighters without a Certificate of Compliance, and has placed a recall notice in a local newspaper

ENDS

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