The Department of Transportation has issued updated rules to finally ban the use of 'vaping' on all flights over US soil. The DOT said it considers e-cigarettes to be equivalent to traditional tobacco smoking, and issued the ruling to eliminate any confusion and possible future legal challenges.
"This final rule is important because it protects airline passengers from unwanted exposure to aerosol fumes that occur when electronic cigarettes are used onboard airplanes," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.
"The department took a practical approach to eliminate any confusion between tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes by applying the same restrictions to both."
It extends the existing in-flight smoking ban to 'electronic cigars, pipes, and devices designed to look like everyday products like pens,' the DOT said. The DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration also bans the carriage of battery-powered electronic smoking devices in checked bags.
This is due to fears e-cigarette lithium batteries are prone to overheating, causing a fire risk.
Although the devices are allowed in the cabin in carry-on bags, passengers are forbidden from charging the batteries in flight.
A spokesman for the UK Civil Aviation Authority said new provisions came in last year prohibiting e-cigarettes or their batteries from being re-charged on board aircraft, however e-cigarettes may still be permitted in carry on baggage and on the person.
"Furthermore, as far we are aware, no UK operators permit their use," he added.
Travelmole/March 12, 2016
Photo: Tech cigarette
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