All types of lighters will be banned this week at entrances to gates at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will begin Thursday, April 14th, fully enforcing a ban on all lighters from sterile areas of airports and onboard aircraft throughout the country.
The lighter ban was announced by the TSA February 28th, with enforcement to begin Thursday, April 14th.
The action comes in response to a provision in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, signed into law by the President December 17th.
The new law adds “butane” lighters to the list of prohibited lighters at airport gates.
The ban includes such lighters as butane, absorbed-fuel in Zippo-type lighters, electric/battery-powered and novelty lighters.
The federal Department of Transportation classifies lighters as “hazardous materials” and prohibits them from being stowed in checked baggage.
The TSA will dispose of lighters brought to airport checkpoints.
TSA officials say their mission is to prevent air piracy and use of an airplane as a weapon, and that the agency may ban any item that could be used for such purposes.
Wednesday morning, LAX officials acknowledged that they have not yet addressed the issue of how smokers will be able to light cigarettes in designated LAX terminal smoking areas without lighters or matches.