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Archive for Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Senator’s bill would make it illegal for anyone under 18 to have a cigarette lighter

February 10, 2009

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— Firefighters and health officials Tuesday called for new restrictions aimed at keeping cigarette lighters out of the hands of children.

“Too many children have access to cigarette lighters because the lighters are displayed in stores where children can easily see them, reach them, take them or purchase them,” said state Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita.

She told the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee that she has seen cigarette lighters displayed next to candy on low shelves at checkout counters in many stores.

Her bill, Senate Bill 106, would make it illegal for a retailer to sell cigarette lighters to anyone under 18 and also make it illegal for anyone under 18 to have a lighter. Any person violating the measure would be subject to a $25 fine and court costs.

Retailers also would be required to keep the lighters out of reach, probably behind the counter.

“In our fire prevention efforts, we feel that there is absolutely no reason for any child under the age of 18 to have free access to or possess a cigarette lighter or any open flame device,” said Lt. Mark Chairs of the Wichita Fire Department.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Roderick Bremby also supported the bill. He said that from 2002 to 2006, 1,285 fires were set by children, resulting in five deaths, 51 civilian injuries and 10 firefighter injuries, with more than $7.5 million in property losses.

But a representative of convenience stores said the proposed legislation added another layer of regulation and didn’t fix the problem.

Tom Palace, executive director of the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, said the bill had several problems. He said it didn’t define cigarette lighter, and it forced clerks to ask for identification for someone purchasing “a 99 cent Bic lighter.”

He said many convenience stores didn’t have any space left behind the counter because of all the items they are required to place there, such as cigarettes and certain cold medicines.

And while firefighters and KDHE voiced support for the bill, the Kansas Fire Marshal’s Office opposed it, saying it didn’t have the $248,000 start-up costs to conduct the proposed required inspections.

State Sen. Tim Owens, R-Overland Park, also voiced concerns, saying that the way the bill was written, if a youngster started a fire with a cigarette lighter then he or she couldn’t be charged with arson, but the lesser crime of possessing a lighter.

The committee took no action on the measure.

Comments

rbs 5 years, 10 months ago

Oh for pete's sake. . . Yeah, let's make it illegal to have a cigarette lighter if you're under 18. . . and waste tons of money on a program that enforces an ideal that SHOULD BE A NO BRAINER--Don't play with fire, kids!!! Duh.Where are the parents. . . ?

countrygirl 5 years, 10 months ago

Don't our legislators have better things to do--like figure out the budget?

kmat 5 years, 10 months ago

So, they can't have lighters but they can have matches? What great morons we have working for us in Topeka. If they are seriously talking about preventing fires, then anything at all that could start a fire would need to be made illegal. It's obvious that this isn't about preventing fires, but about trying to limit a teen's ability to smoke. Since teens can still easily get smokes, they will still easily get lighters too. And now law enforcement will end up having to spend time busting teenagers with lighters instead of dealing with more important crimes.

Confrontation 5 years, 10 months ago

This law wouldn't have kept that Rose idiot from lighting a fire and killing three people.

Tristan Moody 5 years, 10 months ago

“In our fire prevention efforts, we feel that there is absolutely no reason for any child under the age of 18 to have free access to or possess a cigarette lighter or any open flame device,” said Lt. Mark Chairs of the Wichita Fire Department.I beg to differ. One example, though obscure: I teach percussion at one of the high schools here in town during marching band season. Among the maintenance tasks for the equipment is that of replacing the string that suspends the keys on keyboard instruments (i.e. marimbas, xylophones, and vibraphones) when it frays or breaks. The string is a nylon cord that must be threaded through anywhere between 30 and 70 narrow holes on the bars. Pretty much the only way to do this is to use a lighter to burn the end of the string, stiffening it and sealing the end so it won't unravel during the process. This bill would make it illegal for any of the students to perform this important maintenance task on their instruments.Moreover, lighters are such a commonplace item that this bill would likely do little to reduce the number of destructive fires set by children. This bill is an unnecessary regulation that will in all likelihood accomplish none of its goals.

mom_of_three 5 years, 10 months ago

And meanwhile, after they ban lighters (what a waste of time), matches are readily available just about anywhere.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 10 months ago

This story really came from the Onion, didn't it?

jaywalker 5 years, 10 months ago

Happy to see there's one opinion everyone here gets behind. Wonder if this isn't more about a politician straining to enact legislation with their name on it.

janeyb 5 years, 10 months ago

Sounds like Kanas could have saved a lot of money by not having the legislature even meet this year. Stupid is as stupid does.

9070811 5 years, 10 months ago

snap_pop...i also think this is an onion story...so I guess not too far off the urinal world!

Omegatron 5 years, 10 months ago

"Her bill, Senate Bill 106, would make it illegal for a retailer to sell cigarette lighters to anyone under 18 and also make it illegal for anyone under 18 to have a lighter. Any person violating the measure would be subject to a $25 fine and court costs."I used a lighter a lot when I was a kid/teen and not for smoking.Camping/uniform maintenance during boy scouts. Relighting my parents water heater, barbecue, fourth of july, lighting emergency candles during power outages, I can't count the uses I got, still get, from a lighter.This senator is an idiot.

badger 5 years, 10 months ago

And in other news, the Boy Scouts of America have been deemed a subversive organization for their pervasive efforts to teach teenaged boys to conjure flames as if from thin air using no more than sticks and string...What a stupid law.

kseagle 5 years, 10 months ago

Another stupid attempt made be a left wing nut. How many times are we going to have to see these idiots make laws and violate our rights as individuals?

jonas_opines 5 years, 10 months ago

This and Senator Wagle, maybe the problem is just Wichita.

kmat 5 years, 10 months ago

Stop saying this is all the fault of left wing nuts. If you'll notice, we left wing nuts are also saying this is beyond stupid. Many state politicians do lots of stupid cr*p. You guys will use any reason to try to slam those who have different political affiliations than yourself. Pretty pathetic.

Tristan Moody 5 years, 10 months ago

I think this particular case of stupidity transcends party.We also notice that requiring ID for tobacco purchases doesn't seem to really stop kids from smoking. Just look at Veterans' Park or the cornfield south of Free State at lunch time. Those kids would be out there smoking if there was a hailstorm at the time.

jaywalker 5 years, 10 months ago

logicsound: "Stupidity is bipartisan"Worth repeating.

Tristan Moody 5 years, 10 months ago

edjayhawk--Veterans' Park is where the LHS smokers usually go.

George_Braziller 5 years, 10 months ago

Oh please. Give me a break. I carried one in my backpack when I was camping as a Boy Scout -- my mom bought it for me. Matches get wet but lighters always work.

Omegatron 5 years, 10 months ago

"No, folks, this is not a joke."... The senator is, bad one at that...

WHY 5 years, 10 months ago

16 get car18 get bic lighter I am sure this plan will save lives.

jaywalker 5 years, 10 months ago

multi,Your 5:21 got me chuckling! Thanks, I needed that.

Jim Phillips 5 years, 10 months ago

If lighters are outlawed only outlaws will have lighters.

lwctown 5 years, 10 months ago

How about matches??....how about cigarette lighters in cars?? How about fireworks? Maybe we should require everyone to carry a fire extingusher just in case......

fascinating_person 5 years, 10 months ago

Only YouCan Prevent17 years olds burning patchouli scented incense

oneflewover 5 years, 10 months ago

Not that I was the perfect teenager, but I remember using a lighter routinely for anything from lighting fires in the wood stove to starting brush piles on fire while cleaning land. Never got me in trouble, used them for intended purposes, probably back when I was 10. Is the youth of today a bunch of retards or is it just the parents? F

Omegatron 5 years, 10 months ago

" “In our fire prevention efforts, we feel that there is absolutely no reason for any child under the age of 18 to have free access to or possess a cigarette lighter or any open flame device,” said Lt. Mark Chairs of the Wichita Fire Department.Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Roderick Bremby also supported the bill. He said that from 2002 to 2006, 1,285 fires were set by children, resulting in five deaths, 51 civilian injuries and 10 firefighter injuries, with more than $7.5 million in property losses. "Most of those fire were probably the result of a parent leaving a under 5 toddler unattended, lighter in reach. We all know how curious kids at that age are.Stupid people like him and the senator are the reason for the dumbing down of america....He can't find a reason for someone under 18 to use a lighter, Bull S...

jonas_opines 5 years, 10 months ago

I used a lighter everyday from 14-18 without burning anything down, because I used it for its proper purpose: to light the cigarettes that I either bought illegally or stole from somewhere. But yeah, if I hadn't had a light, that would have sucked a lot.

Maxwell Butterfield 5 years, 10 months ago

Dude, not cool.I have a lighter in -my- pocket, but I don't smoke or burn things.You never know when a light will come in handy for a teenager.

Connacht 5 years, 10 months ago

"What do you expect? Her parents didn't even know how to spell 'Olathe.'"Not cool. Even though I disagree with this bill, she's a very kind and hard working individual. I know more than one person with her name, and I'll be damned if some little snot nosed internet bully is going to rag on a state senator and sweet little girl and their mothers because he can't think of something constructive to add. Absolutely pathetic. And for the record, the legislature considers hundreds of bills every session, and most are passed with little or no debate. A lot gets done, but the news doesn't report this. It just sticks to the controversial or time consuming bills and gives the impression of a deadlocked government. Then know-nothing little people on an anonymous newspaper forum make their paltry complaints. For working so hard and being responsible for so many, our state government makes due with very little. But it's easy to criticize, particularly when you don't know what you're talking about. All you people complaining about the inefficiency and stupidity of the government seem to be conveniently forgetting that in a democracy, a government is a reflection of the people. Stop thinking you know more or could do better then your elected officials. You can't and you couldn't. Run for office, or shut up.

Connacht 5 years, 10 months ago

"You never know when a light will come in handy for a teenager."What use does fire have again outside of burning things? I was a teenager once, and a lighter had only two uses:1. Burning tobaccoand2. Burning something else

Tristan Moody 5 years, 10 months ago

Connacht--nobody is saying anything contradictory to that.However, there are legitimate and legal reasons for teenagers to need to engage in your #2.

Janet Lowther 5 years, 10 months ago

This idea is so dense, it's a wonder light can escape from the page. . .In the winter, a source of ignition is an essential piece of safety equipment. You need it to light your emergency candle when you get stuck in the snow.Why not keep it in the emergency kit? Lighters corrode and leak and cease to work. Matches get damp and won't light.If you keep your lighter in a pocket, you will inspect it on a regular basis, so you will have one which works when you need it.So, I keep a lighter handy, just in case.And no, it isn't a hold-over from having been a smoker.

John Hamm 5 years, 10 months ago

Lemme get this straight there's a tremendous shortfall in taxes and the state is warning agencies to prepare for an up to 19% funding cut but these goofballs have nothing better to do than worry that 18 year olds are carrying lighters.You have got to be kidding - again!

talentedinlife 5 years, 9 months ago

The bigger picture is that the parents raised their children without teaching them not to steal or damage people's property.

Recently, my parent's home, storage shed, and vehicle were vandalized. After spray painting, burning, and axe picking whatever they felt like violating, the delinquents stole my childhood go-cart. They road it all over a neighbor's property until the gas ran out. Then they covered it with a tarp until the neighbor reported it and led the police the rugrats' door. After a confession, the parents acted as though it weren't a big deal. Until they paid out $11,000 in damages.

When I was a child my mom looked after my brother, two sisters, and me. My mom new where we were, when, and for how long. Most importantly she taught us not to be disrespectful. My childhood wasn't easy, but it prepared me for the real world. Isn't that suppose to be the end result of parenting?

In conclusion, all parents should be more responsible. So, the government can worry about real issues.

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