Lighters to Be Banned on Airplanes

TSA rule will be enforced beginning April 14


WASHINGTON (AP) - Airline passengers can no longer bring cigarette lighters onto planes or in any secure areas, the Homeland Security Department announced.

Lighters were added to the prohibited items list because of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, which President George W. Bush signed on Dec. 17.

The Transportation Security Administration, the agency charged with prohibiting dangerous items on aircraft, said Monday that lighters will be banned from planes and areas beyond security checkpoints at airports.

"By creating policy to add lighters to the Prohibited Items List we are closing a potential vulnerability in air travel security," said Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security Rear Adm. David M. Stone.

The TSA said butane, absorbed-fuel (Zippo-type), electric/battery-powered and novelty lighters were included in the ban.

The rule will be enforced beginning April 14. The rule was originally scheduled to be implemented in mid-February, but enforcement was delayed.