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Last Updated: Monday, 13 February 2006, 13:59 GMT
Crackdown on cigarette lighters
some of the lighters
Shops are being urged to take the lighters off their shelves
Hundreds of cigarette lighters have been seized over concerns they could appeal to children.

Trading standards officers recovered the lighters in the shape of animals, dice and cats paws from two shops in Blaydon and Felling, Gateshead.

Gateshead Council is preparing to issue a prohibition notice on the wholesaler to prevent any more being sold.

It said regulations required cigarette lighters should not appear to be a toy or novelty or could appeal to children.

The council said the regulations were introduced to prevent accidents involving children playing with lighters.

Playing unsupervised

Gateshead Council trading standards team leader Richard Ferry said: "These lighters present very real dangers to children.

"Not only are they very appealing - in fact, many of them look like children's toys - but none of them are child-resistant.

"The last thing that parents would want would be for their three or four-year-old child to be playing unsupervised with a lighted flame in their bedroom, yet that is precisely the scenario that could occur with these lighters."

Shops which have such lighters are being warned to remove them from sale.

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