Effective July 22, 2010 it became illegal in Illinois to sell or distribute for retail novelty cigarette lighters (The Retail Sale and Distribution of Novelty Lighters Prohibition Act (720 ILCS 668). We seek your assistance in protecting children from the harm that these lighters may cause as children are attracted to the visual effects, flashing lights, musical sounds, and toy-like designs of these lighters.
A novelty lighter means "a mechanical or electrical device typically used for lighting cigarettes, cigars, or pipes that is designed to resemble a cartoon character, toy, gun, watch, musical instrument, vehicle, animal, food or beverage, or similar articles, or that plays musical notes, or has flashing lights, or has other entertaining features. A novelty lighter may operate on any fuel, including butane, isobutene, or liquid fuel."
The prohibition does not apply to:
- Standard disposable and refillable lighters that are printed or decorated with logos, labels, decals, or artwork, or heat-shrinkable sleeves;
- The transportation of novelty lighters through this State; or
- The storage of novelty lighters in a warehouse or distribution center in this State for distribution outside the State of Illinois.
The Act may be enforced by any county or municipal law enforcement officer, or by any code enforcement officer of a municipality or fire protection district. Failure to comply with the Act is a petty offense, for which a fine, not to exceed $500 for each offense and each day the offense is not corrected, may be imposed.
A letter from Fire Marshal Matkaitis regarding novelty lighters [PDF, 85Kb]
You may review the law online at Illinois General Assembly Web Site.
Please use the following complaint form to report the illegal sale of novelty lighters.
Complaint form [PDF, 35Kb]