Lassa’s Work With Cigarette Lighter Safety Earns Her State Award
For the City-Times
The Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety presented State Senator Julie Lassa (Stevens Point) with its Legislator of the Year award for her work in trying to curb cigarette lighters that are made to resemble children’s toys. She received the award at the WAFS Fall Fire Safety Luncheon in Milwaukee on Wednesday.
Lassa introduced Senate Bill 303, which would make it illegal to sell novelty lighters to minors and prohibit over the counter retail sales of such lighters. The proposal was introduced at the request of Pittsville Fire Chief Jerry Minor and a group of Pittsville elementary school students after one of their classmates was killed in a house fire.
“Some of these lighters play music or have flashing lights, and they come in a wide variety of colorful shapes — mobile phones, cameras, fishing lures, stacks of coins, markers, doll accessories, even rubber ducks.” Lassa said. “Naturally, children are attracted to these lighters, and because they look so much like toys, adults are often fooled into thinking they are safe for kids to play with. That’s when tragedy can strike.”
The novelty lighter bill gained wide bipartisan support in the Legislature and was passed unanimously by committees in both the Senate and Assembly.
“Unfortunately, we were unable to bring the bill forward for full passage before the close of the legislative session. But the progress we made is encouraging, and I will reintroduce this legislation next session. I hope you will continue to stand by me until we get this important provision signed into law,” Lassa told the group.
“Clearly, children need to be protected from any product that so blatantly lures them into danger,” Lassa said.
The Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety, a nonprofit organization with more than 19 years’ experience, has as its mission “to promote, encourage and foster fire safety, burn prevention and public fire safety education.” The group supports burn survivors of all ages and sponsors the Summer Camp for Burn Injured Youth.