Majority of Europeans 'Worried by Dangerous Lighters'

By Bic Group, PRNE
Monday, March 14, 2011

CLICHY, France, March 15, 2011 - BIC, the leading manufacturer of stationery products, lighters and
shavers, and independent pollsters APCO Insight today published a new poll
that shows that nearly 87 per cent of Europeans are worried by information
that pocket lighters with the capacity to kill and maim are openly on sale
across the continent.

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According to European Commission figures, 40 are killed and 1900 injured
every year in Europe because of accidents with lighters, many of them
children. However, nearly 75 per cent of lighter models tested by Prosafe
don't meet the required safety standards, despite an emergency European
Commission decision banning the marketing of non-compliant lighters.The vast
majority of these are imported lighter models.

Nearly half of consumers were 'very worried' that pocket lighters that
have been banned in other countries, some of which have caused injuries or
death, were on sale in their countries, and 64 per cent strongly agreed that
pocket lighters sold in the EU must conform to safety requirements.

Stephen Russell, Secretary-General of ANEC, the European consumer voice
in standardisation, said: "Potentially dangerous lighters are still finding
their way into the hands of consumers. ANEC is calling for the creation of a
European-wide framework to ensure the better coordination of market
surveillance activities among all Member States. In the meantime, we ask
retailers and distributors to exercise vigilance and test the products they

The survey also threw up some major surprises. Nearly two in three
respondents (63 per cent) thought up to 50 per cent of imported products sold
in Europe are checked at the port of entry. According to contact with
authorities, less than one per cent of non-food goods are checked.

The survey follows the European Commission's decision to give the Food
and Consumer Product Safety Authority(VWA) in the Netherlands 10 weeks
(according to EU Procedure) to explain its position on surveillance of
potentially dangerous lighters being imported through the Port of Rotterdam,
following a complaint filed by BIC.

Francois Clement-Grandcourt, Deputy General Manager BIC lighter division,
said: "In North America, there was a 60 per cent reduction in child injuries
when the law was properly enforced. That means we all have a moral obligation
to remove dangerous lighters from our markets."


Contacts: Francois Clement-Grandcourt, Deputy General Manager, category lighter, BIC - LIGHTER CATEGORY, 14, rue Jeanne d'Asnieres - 92110 Clichy - France, Tel: +33-1-45-19-55-93, francois.clement-grandcourt at Phil Riggins, Director, APCOInsight, 90 Long Acre, London. WC2E 9RA, Tel: +44-(0)207-526-3638 (Direct), Tel: +44-(0)7733-318-204 (Mobile), priggins at

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