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New Massachusetts Law to Protect Children from Cigarette Lighters

The tobacco and associated industries tried yet another gimmick to entice children to smoke: novelty lighters. These lighters, which look like toys, have been involved in various fires, according to Massachusetts Department of Fire Services. The lighters can resemble toy cars, Magic Markers, or even a seemingly harmless rubber ducky. Thankfully, on August 9, 2010, Massachusetts became the 14th state to ban novelty lighters. As a Boston child injury lawyer, I’m glad to see that with this new law, children will have a much lesser risk of suffering burn injuries.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, which supported the law, the ban on novelty lighters will save lives. Accidental fires are often started by children playing with lighters and matches. In fact, from 2003 to 2007, children in Massachusetts alone set 912 fires, which caused 93 injuries and $9.5 million in damages. Just last May, a ten-year-old boy pleaded not delinquent for using a lighter to start a Haverhill house fire that killed a woman and a child.