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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.651

Introduced by Representatives Shand of Weathersfield, Chen of Mendon, Fallar of Tinmouth, Howrigan of Fairfield, Johnson of South Hero, Mitchell of Barnard and Turner of Milton

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Public safety; fire protection and fire prevention; novelty lighters

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to prohibit the sale in Vermont of certain novelty lighters.

AN ACT RELATING TO NOVELTY LIGHTERS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS

The general assembly finds:

(1)  Lighters are inherently dangerous products producing a flame and containing flammable fuel.

(2)  Many lighters are designed to resemble toys, guns, watches, musical instruments, food and beverages, cell phones, and other common objects.

(3)  Designing lighters to disguise their true function increases the risk of injury to adults who mistake such lighters for otherwise benign objects and to children who are attracted to the seemingly fun and whimsical shapes.

(4)  Disguising the true function of an inherently dangerous product unnecessarily threatens the health and safety of the citizens of Vermont.

(5)  Federal regulation of child resistance in lighters does not afford adequate protection for the health and safety of the citizens of Vermont.

(6)  Numerous public safety agencies such as the National Fire Protection Agency, National Volunteer Fire Council, and National Association of State Fire Marshals support banning the sale of novelty lighters.

Sec. 2.  20 V.S.A. chapter 173, subchapter 3B is added to read:

Subchapter 3B.  Novelty Lighters

§ 2830.  DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this chapter:

(1)  “Lighter” or “cigarette lighter” means a flame-producing product commonly used by consumers to ignite cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, although the lighter may be used to ignite other materials.  This term does not include matches or any other lighting device intended primarily for igniting materials other than smoking materials, such as fuel for fireplaces or for charcoal or gas‑fired grills.  This term includes novelty lighters.

(2)  “Novelty lighter” means a lighter that has entertaining audio or visual effects, or that depicts through the use of logos, decals, or artwork, or resembles in physical form or function articles commonly recognized as appealing to or intended for use by children under ten years of age, including lighters that depict or resemble cartoon characters, toys, guns, watches, musical instruments, vehicles, toy animals, food, or beverages.

§ 2831.  PROHIBITION

The retail sale, offer of retail sale, gift, or distribution of any novelty lighter in the state of Vermont is prohibited.  This prohibition does not include novelty lighters stored in a warehouse closed to the public for the purpose of distribution or sale outside the state.

§ 2832.  ENFORCEMENT; RULES; PENALTIES

(a)  The commissioner of public safety, acting in his or her capacity as fire marshal under the provisions of this title, shall be responsible for the enforcement of this subchapter.

(b)  The commissioner may adopt and amend regulations as necessary to implement this subchapter.

(c)  Any person that knowingly violates the provisions of this subchapter shall be fined not more than $1,000.00 for each violation.

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect January 1, 2009.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us