Article 2.

Manufacture and Sale of Matches and Lighters.

§ 66-12.  Requirements for matches permitted to be sold.

No person, association, or corporation shall manufacture, store, offer for sale, sell or otherwise dispose of or distribute white phosphorous, single-dipped, strike-anywhere matches of the type popularly known as "parlor matches"; nor manufacture, store, sell, offer for sale, or otherwise dispose of, or distribute, white phosphorous, double-dipped, strike-anywhere matches or any other type of double-dipped matches, unless the bulb or first dip of such match is composed of a so-called safety or inert composition, nonignitible as an abrasive surface; nor manufacture, store, sell, or offer for sale, or otherwise dispose of or distribute matches which when packed in a carton of 500 approximate capacity and placed in an oven maintained at a constant temperature of 200 degrees F., will ignite in eight hours; nor manufacture, store, offer for sale, sell or otherwise dispose of, or distribute, blazer, or so-called wind matches, whether of the so-called safety or strike-anywhere type. (1915, c. 109, s. 12, I; C.S., s. 5113.)


§ 66-13.  Packages to be marked.

No person, association, or corporation shall offer for sale, sell or otherwise dispose of, or distribute, any matches, unless the package or container in which such matches are packed bears, plainly marked on the outside thereof, the name of the manufacturer and the brand or trademark under which the matches are sold, disposed  of, or distributed. (1915, c. 109, s. 12, II; C.S., s. 5114.)


§ 66-14.  Storage and packing regulated.

No more than one case of each brand of matches of any type or manufacture shall be opened at any one time in the retail store where matches are sold or otherwise disposed of; nor shall loose boxes or paper-wrapped packages of matches be kept on shelves or stored in such retail stores at a height exceeding five feet from the floor; all matches when stored in warehouses must be kept only in properly secured cases, and not piled to a height exceeding 10 feet from the floor; nor be stored within a horizontal distance of 10 feet from any boiler, furnace, stove, or other like heating apparatus; nor within a horizontal distance of 25 feet from any explosive material kept or stored on the same floor. All matches shall be packed in boxes or suitable packages, containing not more than 700 matches in any one box or package: Provided, however, that when more than 300 matches are packed in any one box or package the said matches shall be arranged in two nearly equal portions, the heads of the matches in the two portions shall be placed in opposite directions, and all boxes containing 350 or more matches shall have placed over the matches a center-holding or protecting strip, made of chip board, not less than one and one-quarter inches wide; said strip shall be flanged down to hold the matches in position when the box is nested into the shuck or withdrawn from it. (1915, c. 109, s. 12, II; C.S., s. 5115.)


§ 66-15.  Shipping containers regulated.

All match boxes or packages shall be packed in strong shipping containers or cases; maximum number of match boxes or packages contained in any one shipping container or case shall not exceed the following number:


Nominal Number

Number of Boxes                                                                                     of Matches per Box

l/2 gross                                                                                                           700

1 gross                                                                                                             500

2 gross                                                                                                             400

3 gross                                                                                                             300

5 gross                                                                                                             200

12 gross                                                                                                           100

20 gross over 50 and under                                                                             100

25 gross under                                                                                                50


No shipping container or case constructed of fiber board, corrugated fiber board, or wood, nailed or wirebound, shall exceed a weight, including its contents, of 75 pounds; and no lock-cornered wooden case containing matches shall have a weight, including its contents, exceeding 85 pounds; nor shall any other article or commodity be packed with matches in any such container or case; and all such containers and cases in which matches are packed shall have plainly marked on the outside of the container or case the words "Strike-Anywhere Matches" or "Strike-on-the-Box Matches." (1915, c. 109, s. 12, III; C.S., s. 5116.)


§ 66-16.  Violation of Article a misdemeanor.

Any person, association, or corporation violating any of the provisions of this Article, other than G.S. 66-16.1, shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and shall only be fined for the first offense not less than five dollars ($5.00) nor more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00), and for each subsequent violation not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00).  (1915, c. 109, s. 12, IV; C.S., s. 5117; 1993, c. 539, s. 507; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2009-230, s. 2.)


§ 66-16.1.  Retail sale of novelty lighters prohibited.

(a)        Definition. - As used in this section, the term "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. A novelty lighter may operate on any fuel, including butane, isobutene, or liquid fuel.

(b)        Prohibition. - It shall be unlawful to sell at retail, offer to sell at retail, or give, or distribute for retail sale or promotion, a novelty lighter in this State. This prohibition does not apply to the transportation of novelty lighters through this State or to the storage of novelty lighters in a warehouse or distribution center in this State that is closed to the public for purposes of retail sales.

(c)        Exceptions. - The prohibition in this section does not apply to any of the following:

(1)        A lighter manufactured prior to January 1, 1980.

(2)        Any mechanical or electrical device primarily used to ignite fuel for fireplaces or charcoal or gas grills.

(3)        Standard disposable or refillable lighters that are printed or decorated with logos, labels, decals or artwork, or heat shrinkable sleeves, but which do not otherwise resemble a novelty lighter.

(d)       Penalty. - A violation of this section is an infraction and shall subject a violator to a penalty of five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each violation. The clear proceeds of any penalties imposed under this section shall be remitted in accordance with G.S. 115C-452.  (2009-230, s. 3.)