White Lighter Curse

In response to a request for a hub about BIC lighters, I decided to do a little research about them. I'm not a smoker so I really didn't know much about them before conducting this research.

Marcel Bich (pronounced 'beek' in French) and Edouard Buffard began making pencil cases, penholders, fountain pen parts and mechanical lead pencils in Paris in the 40s. The first “BIC” ballpoint pen was introduced in Europe in 1950 and by the mid-50s Bich turned his attention to the United States. It wasn’t until 1969 that Bich started offering promotional products for corporate advertising and gifts.

When BIC introduced the BIC Disposable lighter in 1973 they were fighting some fierce competition with Gillette’s Cricket Lighter. They had previously battled in the pen market with BIC outselling Gillette’s Papermate pens.

Both companies engaged in a television marketing campaign. Gillette introduced a singing Cricket cartoon character and BIC ran with the “Flick my BIC” slogan. This also led to some price wars. BIC once again won out.

In 1976 BIC and Gillette went at it again with the disposable razor. That’s when Gillette introduced the “Good News” disposable razor. Gillette’s solid reputation in the razor market made them too tough to beat.

Bich was a dedicated Yachtsman and tried and failed on several occasions to win the America’s Cup race. He was a private person who did not like to be photographed.

White BIC Lighter Curse
White BIC Lighter Curse

White Bic Lighter Curse

Evidently, there is a white BIC Lighter Curse.

The urban myth is that Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain all died at age 27, were left-handed, and all died with a white BIC lighter in their pocket.

That sounds all nice and scary, but there's one little problem. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin died in 1970, Jim Morrison died in 1971, and Kurt Cobain died in 1994. The BIC Lighter didn't come out until 1973. That means that Kurt is the only one that could have died with a white BIC lighter in his pocket.

Many smokers, particularly marijuana smokers, refuse to use a white BIC lighter. Some are so superstitious about them they don't even want to be in the same room with one.

I'm sure a number of people have given white BIC lighters to people they don't care for as a sort of voodoo gift.

My husband actually likes white lighters since you're able to determine how much lighter fluid is still in them easier than most colors. 

Guess you'll have to decide for yourself.

BIC Lighters Timeline

  • 1973-First BIC Lighter
  • 1985-BIC Mini Lighter
  • 1991-BIC Electronic Lighter
  • 1998-BIC Electronic Mini Lighter
  • 2000-Utility BIC Megalighter
  • 2001-Surestart Outdoor, Fireplace, and Candle Utility Lighters
  • 2002-BIC Styl'It Lighter Cases
  • 2003-BIC Luminere Utility Lighter
  • 2004-BIC Grip/BIC Comfort Lite and BIC Emblem Lighter Cases
  • 2007-Multi-Purpose Lighter BIC Megalighter New Generation

White Bic Lighter Curse (Myth)

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Comments 41 comments

Putz Ballard profile image

Putz Ballard 7 years ago

You did well, great hub.

Robert Ballard

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thank you, Putz.

Am I dead, yet? 7 years ago

Awesome! I had no idea about the backstory on a bic lighter! teehee! Now I have something to tell a classmate who told me that bic's was the best lighters because they last forever! Thank you, KCC...I knew I could count on you to get the juicy details behind this iconic lighter! I love the videos!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

You're welcome, AIDY....I think the "last forever" is about Zippo lighters unless he meant that Bic's are the best disposable lighter.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Hey, KCC Big Country. Thanks for clearing up that rumor/legend/whatever. I once had a Bic lighter in my pocket in Atlantic City and won over $400 above and beyond what I had while playing Black Jack, so how bad can a white Bic lighter be? The funny thing is that they are relatively easy to find, as many people share that same superstition! Thanks.

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Sounds like having a white BIC lighter was very lucky for you, Dohn! I think it's funny that no one ever stops to think if it's even possible for them to have had a BIC lighter in their pocket. LOL

elisabethkcmo profile image

elisabethkcmo 7 years ago from Just East of Oz

great hub, just wondering though, is there a black hole in space that swallows bic lighters, kinda like the place that single white sock and the remote control goes?

?the white bic lighter curse?

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

LOL...you may be on to something, Elisabethkcmo!

Helen Cater profile image

Helen Cater 7 years ago from UK

Well I never knew all those people died with a white Bic lighter. Mine are always breaking before they run out of gas. So annoying, but I will avoid the white ones in future.

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

LOL....why risk it, huh? Thanks for stopping by Helen.

sabrebIade profile image

sabrebIade 7 years ago from Pennsylvania

Wow..that's the first I ever heard about the white lighter thing.

Very interesting.

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

It was the first for me too, Sabreblade, but evidently well-known amongst smokers. I guess they just know it and keep it to themselves. :)

Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

I had a Bic leak out the bottom (unbeknown to me) and up the sleeve of my cotton sweater. I flicked it, and the spark caught the fluid and the flames ran up my sleeve. Scared me to death, but luckily the sweater somehow didn't catch and it was a.ok! Oh, and I'm ok too.. but very wary and check each one out before I ignite the flame. Good hub KCC!

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

LOL....glad you're ok! I can't even light one. I have to have the trigger type lighters to light candles or to burn our trash. My fingers are incapable of flicking the BIC.

Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

Yep Yep! I' A-ok! Almost became a 'Flaming Candie Jubilee!' A rare dessert! Ah, even with the ever-popular opposable (sp?) thumb you are bic-challenged? Well the trigger type can be worth a word of warning as well.. has its own issues! Oh for heaven sake! We can't go back to the dark ages can we? Noooo! LOLOLOL! Love ya Karen!

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

LOL...I could probably rub two sticks together and start a fire quicker than I could get a BIC lit. Love you too, Candie Girl!

Brad 6 years ago

Can you post a pic with all bic lighter colors

vickymom64 profile image

vickymom64 6 years ago from Westmorland Ca

Super great hub on white bic lighters, i love the white lighters cuz you can hold it up to the light and see how much fluid is in the lighter. Than you know when to purchase another one before you run out. lol!

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

That's what my husband always like about them, too. Thanks for stopping by Vickymom64!

NM Glenn 6 years ago

Hey, they were reported to have a 'white lighter' not a Bic. So ya, maybe you busted the White Bic lighter myth however there was a disposable lighter produced by Gillette the 'cricket' around that time & they could have also had non-diposable lighter in a white color. Considering that they died around the same time the lighters could have even been promotional gifts...

Little more research before laying the white lighter myth to bed...

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thank Glenn, you may be on to something.

Greg McCracken 5 years ago

I carried a white lighter and my man-tool fell off. --Greg McCracken, electrician, IBEW LU 716 Houston Texas

yankees23 5 years ago

Hi very interesting article. I am a smoker and I was at a party one evening, where I began casually smoke a pipe. I had a white lighter in hand, and before I could even take a second hit I had twenty kids yelling stop! That's bad luck! I didn't understand the whole curse thing. I don't believe it at all. Inanimate objects cannot possess magical powers. Besides were this true, bic lighters are made-produced, and for every white lighter made there would be a subsequent death. Whenever I go to buy a lighter theres always only like 10 white ones left. Score one for me, I can always get a lighter.

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

Yankees23, my husband feels the same as you. He prefers white lighters because you can hold them up and tell how empty they are.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

I know the video is probably making fun of this-- but there was something else those other people were 'using' that might have accounted for 'bad luck'.

I was thinking-- if you bought a few lighters for emergency supply preparation, what would be the best color? You might not be able to use the white ones for barter. :)

annaw profile image

annaw 5 years ago from North Texas

Ok so you have got me thinking about white lighters. I do not own one and can not remember the last time I did or even if I have ever owned a white Bic lighter. This was quite an interesting read. Who would have thought....lol Oh by the way I have no plans to purchase one!!!

SkepticalABit 5 years ago

The first bic lighter was actually introduced in 1965. It was introduced by the french company "Société Bic." It was in fact possible for them all to have a Bic lighter.

lynette 5 years ago

i dont think it was the white lighter that killed jimmy hendrix.........

eman 5 years ago

i have had bad things happen when i smoke out with a white lighter like having a bad trip and shit like that

David Oickle 5 years ago

I just heard of the supposed WHITE BIC CURSE today when I went to give one to a friend when his blue one ran dry !

I have been carrying a Zippo for 12 years now , so don't even use a Bic unless I bum a light from someone when my Zippo runs dry ! Lol

StillABeliever 5 years ago

I feel like any white lighter not just the BIC brand is bad luck from personal experience of bad luck happening when being in possession of a white lighter.

Sean 5 years ago

I do not believe it for a sec

alex 5 years ago

I for one would know when you are sketched about something it always turns out bad so mabye if ur scetched about the White Bic being with you, something bad will happen. But if your one who doesn't mind then nothing bad will happen. Attractive thought thoery haha

Timmy 4 years ago

Marijuana smokers use a Colt named Lighter ;)

Austin 4 years ago

Since the 1960's? lol Sorry to burst everyone's bubble, but the Bic lighter didn't exist until 1973. That's three years after Hendrix & Joplin died, and two after Morrison. Classic example to not blindly follow and believe anything you hear. Today it is more important than ever to check the facts, as information spreads so fast...regardless if it's true or false.

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Austin, did you even read my article?


Pyro Boogliodemus 4 years ago

In the 70s they made lighters that were about 3/4" longer than the standard Bic is today. They also made an oversized table lighter. I can't even find mention of these though I have owned both in the past. The longer lighter used to last forever and the size of the table lighter kept people from absentmindedly dropping them in their pocket.

Kyle 4 years ago

I will only say this. This idea may sound crazy to those who are spiritually asleep which most are so I won't waste my energy with that group.

I think there is more going on to the white lighter curse then meets the eye as for those already awake they should know there are spiritual realms or dimensions we cannot even see because of our duality conscience prevents us but they are there nontheless.

I see colors having spiritual properties associated with them and what they mean depends on the persons conditions.

The best example I can think of is asking what *white* and *Dark* really mean as dark is the absence of all color or the *void* which consumes the soul while *White* is all the colors in one and white enhances the soul but if you're soul is polluted with corrupt energy it will FEEL painful getting the toxins out of you.

What's this have to do with lighters you ask?

I believe that certain colors attract certain kinds of energies on inanimate objects like if you're soul is suffering but you don't know it yet the powers in a white lighter are trying to get you're attention to seek help before it's too late.

Drugs do not effect you right away and may take 10 or more years but eventually they will screw you which is likely why the Congress is so dumb and stupid trashing conservatives who simply want a smaller and more efficient government that doesn't spend more then it has which I won't get into as I am sure everyone on here is a Liberal and doesn't understand the basic concept of not going into debt...........even if it's for a good cause.

Back to lighters. Colors appear to us because of the ways our eye retina picks up signals like old rabbit ears does/did on your analog TV set which I believe Red is the brightest hence why emergency vehicles have red lights as it penetrates further at night then blue.

Cops for some reason use both red and blue.

Kyle 4 years ago

Unfortunately I am falsely accused of being a fallen angel so I have to watch my back when it comes to spiritual properties as I did something that the angels took as a rebellion against God.

Kyle 4 years ago


Here at this forum many people have interesting white lighter stories where a few even said it brought them good luck which further proves my point about colors and the conditions of your soul.

The people that didn't have bad luck with white lighters I bet didn't have polluted souls that yearned to be healed.

I've learned that if you suppress yourself in any way (including alcohol or drugs) you're spiritual soul will do whatever it can to wake you up before it's too fucking late!

Your soul is like a nagging mother.

Kevin 2 years ago

Read that the people of Wyoming and Colorado believe a white Bic is bad luck. That makes sense in that a Bic lighter could save your life in the high country and white is easily lost in the snow.

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