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March 17, 1993

Philip Morris Recalls Marlboro Cigarette Lighter, Considered 'Enticing Fire Hazard for Children'

JAMA. 1993;269(11):1353-1356. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500110013004

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DESPITE EVIDENCE to the contrary, cigarette manufacturers insist that they are not targeting children with tobacco advertisements and promotions.

The latest evidence to the contrary comes from the recall of a Marlboro cigarette lighter that puts on a light show every time the lighting mechanism is depressed. The promotional device (for the flagship cigarette brand of Philip Morris USA) recently was implicated in a fire caused by children who were playing with the twinkling lighter.

The fire, which reportedly caused only minor damage in the attic of a Torrington, Conn, home, "could have been a lot worse," says Torrington deputy fire marshal Bill Baldwin. None of the five girls involved, aged 5 to 10 years, were injured in the mishap, he says.

"The Marlboro lighter is very enticing to young children, and therefore they go into dark, hidden areas, such as closets, under their beds, or under their bed sheets