“Ewwwww, is that a white lighter? I can’t use that. Don’t you know? White lighters are bad luck. I’ve been caught smoking (marijuana) twice, and both times I was using a white lighter. I’m not trying to get busted again man! I mean if that’s your only one then I guess….”
The white lighter is a bad luck symbol among smokers. The informant says he was caught partaking in illegal activities and this has only happened when he was using a white lighter, and thus it must be bad luck. Many cigarette smokers have caught on, even though smoking cigarettes is not illegal and there are no negative consequences, and they too believe in the bad luck associated with white lighters. However, the illegal activity is likely what created the folklore, and the similarities probably spread it to other activities using lighters. Because the consequences of getting caught are harsh, superstitions arise to make people over cautious and less likely to be caught.