The report published by the Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver and History of Matches confirms the lighter was invented before matches.
The BBC news article has stated that in 1826, John Walker, a chemist in Stockton on Tees, discovered a stick coated with chemicals that burst into flame. He sold his first Friction Light on the 12 April 1827 from his pharmacy in Stockton on Tees. Walker's first friction matches were made of cardboard. Therefore, the lighter was invented in 1823 (3 years) before the matchsticks.