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Transportation Security Administration

TSA to begin enforcement of lighter ban

National Press Release
Thursday, April 14, 2005

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will begin enforcing a ban, beginning today, on all types of lighters from the secure areas of airports and onboard airplanes. The policy is in response to a requirement in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. TSA announced the ban in February and set aside 45 days to educate the traveling public about the ban.

"Terrorists constantly seek innovative means to cause harm, and this requires appropriate risk mitigation," said Rear Adm. David M. Stone, USN (Ret.), Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for TSA. "This policy provides another layer of protection in TSA's overall security plan."

All lighters are now banned from sterile areas beyond security checkpoints at airports. This includes, for example, butane, absorbed-fuel, electric/battery-powered and novelty lighters.

The Department of Transportation classifies lighters as hazardous materials, and prohibits them from being stowed in checked baggage. TSA will dispose of lighters brought to checkpoints. Passengers at some airports may be able to ship them via a private company for a fee, but TSA strongly urges passengers to thoroughly inspect their carry-on and checked baggage for these items before going to the airport.