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.)