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Department of Transportation Proposes Rule to Ban Electronic Cigarettes on Planes


The U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed a rule that would ban smoking electronic cigarettes on all domestic and international commercial flights.

Under current federal law, passengers cannot smoke any tobacco product on a commercial flight, but electronic cigarettes are not specifically cited, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“Airline passengers have rights, and this new rule would enhance passenger comfort and reduce any confusion surrounding the use of electronic cigarettes in flight,” Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. He added the Department is also considering extending the ban on smoking—including electronic cigarettes—to charter flights of U.S. carriers and foreign air carriers with planes that seat 19 or more passengers.

Electronic cigarettes are designed to deliver nicotine in the form of a vapor, which is inhaled by the user. They usually have a rechargeable, battery-operated heating element, a replaceable cartridge with nicotine or other chemicals and a device called an atomizer that converts the contents of the cartridge into a vapor when heated. They are often made to look like regular cigarettes.

The Department noted there is a lack of scientific data about the ingredients in electronic cigarettes. The public can comment on the proposed rule until November 14; search for the keywords “electronic cigarettes” to find the proposal.

In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will regulate smokeless electronic cigarettes as tobacco products, treating them the same as traditional cigarettes. The FDA said it will not try to regulate e-cigarettes under stricter rules for drug-delivery devices.

5 Responses to this article

  1. Bext Marijuana / August 21, 2012 at 4:49 am

    They should consider the opinion of the majority…

  2. michigan marijuana dispensaries / August 16, 2012 at 12:12 am

    If it doesn’t bother other passenger then i don’t see any reason for them to ban it.

  3. Bob / September 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    There is no harm to anyone else in the near vicinity of a person with an electronic cigarette. They dont have an odor and do not cause any cloud of smoke. This crack down is rediculous. Though I can see confusion happening if someone sees one of these and thinks they can light up. Unlike the thousands of chemicals in a real cigarette, this cigarette only have nicotine, no other harmful by-products(as per reports).

  4. Avatar of Esther Schiller
    Esther Schiller / September 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    As a person with asthma, I would not like to be near a person smoking an e cigarette on a plane or any other enclosed place. A man blew e cigarette smoke in my face to prove a point and my lungs were affected.

  5. John French / September 15, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    There is a simple, very equitable solution. Allow e-cigarette inhaling, but ban exhaling. The smoker gets his (or hers) and the rest of us get ours.

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