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It is a sad day for all mid-flight vapers out there: the U.S. Department of Transportation has made it clear that vaping will no longer be tolerated on any of the nation’s planes. The agency broke the news Wednesday.
According to the new rules, e-cigarette use is strictly forbidden on all commercial flights regardless of their destination as long as they take off from or land on a U.S. airport. It doesn’t matter if it is an international or domestic flight. If the airline is American, you should not pull your e-cig from your pocket until you reach your destination.
The federal agency has been working on the new regulation for quite some time now. The first attempt to ban vaping from planes dates back from 2011. But the rules needed further approval, underwent several stages, and reached their “interim final” form last fall.
Yet, this week the legislation just became “final,” so vapers have no more excuses.
Federal regulators argued that the electronic devices pose serious health risks to other passengers on commercial airline flights. The agency cited “studies” that had revealed e-cigarette aerosol is imbued with toxic compounds.
The Department of Transportation acknowledged that further studies were required to assess the true impact of e-cigarettes on human health, but it also said that the new regulation would be set in place as a “precautionary approach.”
After the new decision, e-cigarette users will ‘benefit’ from the same treatment as regular cigarette smokers do on flights. Both groups will be politely asked to refrain from vaping, respectively smoking while on a plane, otherwise fines would start pouring.
Until the recent ruling, however, it wasn’t clear whether vaping was allowed on board. Until recently, passengers were allowed to carry their e-cigs in their pockets but not in their carry-on luggage. Fortunately, the new rules cleared up the confusion.
The transportation agency barred vaporizer use from all commercial flights, unless the devices are used for medical purposes. Regulators noted that vaporizers including e-cigs are strictly forbidden as long as they produce “smoke, mist, vapor, or aerosol.”
The new rules won’t apply to nebulizers, which are medical devices used to convert medication into mist and deliver it to the patients’ lungs.
A DOT official recently said that the new rules were designed to shield passengers from “unwanted exposure to aerosol fumes.”
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