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    Feb 2002

    Default Leave yer Zippo at home

    Zippo May Be Hurt by Lighter Ban on Airplanes

    Wed Mar 2, 6:00 PM ET U.S. National - Reuters

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The maker of the popular American lighter Zippo said on Wednesday it will be hurt by a government ban on airline passengers taking cigarette lighters onto airplanes.

    The Transportation Security Administration last month banned lighters from secure areas of airports and on board airlines as a security measure. It is also strictly enforcing a long-standing law banning them from checked luggage.

    Pennsylvania-based Zippo Manufacturing Co., which has been making its distinctive chrome and brass lighters since 1932 and sells 140 million of them a year, is worried that could cut into its sales by up to 30 percent.

    The company said it accepts bans in the passenger section of airplanes and in secure areas of airports, but sees the ban on lighters in stored luggage as unfair, saying industry research found lighters pose no danger to aircraft.

    It contends that the lighters should not be banned because aerosol cans and ammunition are allowed in checked luggage.

    Zippo spokeswoman Daryl Clemmens said company directors are hoping to meet with U.S. Department of Transportation officials to discuss the ban.

    "If the DOT considers gunpowder and isobutene (propellants) to be nonhazardous, it should logically conclude, based on all the evidence available, that lighters are nonhazardous as well," Zippo said in a statement.

    Zippo said the ban would hurt sales at duty-free shops in airports, where lighters are often bought as souvenirs. It said about 4,500 Zippo collectors who travel around America to attend swap meets would also be affected.
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