The U.S. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, announced last week in a press release that there officially will be no vaping allowed on U.S. commercial flights, as well as on foreign carriers in and out of the U.S. Charter flights that need a flight attendant or crew members also are grouped in with the ban.
“This final rule is important because it protects airline passengers from unwanted exposure to aerosol fumes that occur when electronic cigarettes are used on board airplanes,” Foxx said in the release. “The department took a practical approach to eliminate any confusion between tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes by applying the same restrictions to both.”
Foxx said that “e-cigarette aerosol can contain harmful chemicals,” however he then said “further study is needed to fully understand the risks.” He said the ban was a “precautionary approach.”
There has been a regulatory smoking ban for flights for quite a while, however it was a broad ban that did not specifically include vaping or define what “smoking” was. Many airlines already have their own individual vaping bans in use.
Cynthia Cabrera, president of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, said in a release, “While we defer to the Transportation Department prohibiting the use of vapor products on commercial flights, it’s important to know that vapor products are fundamentally and scientifically different than combustible tobacco and should not be equated with the harmful effects of smoking.”