The Department of Transportation plans to officially ban electronic cigarettes on airlines this spring. Originally there had not been any official restrictions on smoking an e cig on airplanes. The TSA did not have a specific regulation prohibiting the devices.
Many smokers have been able to smoke their e cig after informing flight attendants about how the device works. Electronic cigarettes emit an odorless vapor instead of a traditional cigarette’s harmful second hand smoke. Since there has not been anything specific written about the devices most airlines have previously determined that they are permitted.
According to The Associated Press, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently stated in a letter to Senator Lautenburg that they now interpret smoking regulations to include electronic cigarettes. Because the health effects of e cigs are still unknown, officials such as Lautenburg are worried non smoking passengers will be affected by the vapor.
Electronic cigarettes have become increasingly popular. They have helped thousands quit traditional cigarettes. Thousands more are making the switch every week. The chemical free alternative is not specifically marketed as a smoking cessation product. However, those trying to quit have had much better success kicking the habit using these devices.