What is the policy of e-cigarettes on planes?

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2014-07-18 15:55:34

Planes were the first workplace to receive a non-smoking ban, but what is the policy about smoking e-cigarettes on a plane?

It’s bad news for the UK-no aeroplane company have said that you can smoke (or vape) an e-cig on a flight, though e-cigarettes were welcomed for a time on the company’s discretion for a while.


In the US, there’s a problem because you flying between states or between countries. Although many states have banned vaping and plane companies have issued statements about prohibiting smoking, it is difficult to work out what the rule is. It seems that although it’s not the same as a ban, companies have creating rulings to limit e-cigs.

A ban does exist on the airplane companies Jet Blue and American Airlines.

People try to get around such bans by smoking in the toilets. This however is also forbidden.

The vapour which e-cigs give off was said to provide “confusion” for customers. I’m not sure how much “confusion” steam vapour could cause, particularly for anyone familiar with the idea of a kettle, but companies do seem obsessed with creating press statements that may create ones sometime that don’t make sense.

As for airports it seems that Phoenix Sky Harbor, Macarran International, Miami International, Charlotte Douglas International and Tampa International, Minneapolis St Paul International and the Ronald Regan Washington National allow people to smoke e-cigarettes. For the John F Kennedy International airport in New York you can smoke in areas away from the terminals.

The confusion seems to be based on the lack of research which has been made about e-cigarettes, rather than any danger to the plane. It does seem a bit “Nanny state” to me. It kind of goes beyond the remit of what professional airlines are meant to do.

For Canada, they don’t see any link between e-cigarettes and the starting of smoke alarms (which seem to a main factor in the banning of cigarettes). The choice is up to the airline in question.

Remarkably, Australian law regards e-cigs as portable electric devices. It is a condition that any spare batteries should have their terminals taped over and placed in a plastic bag, or alternatively a pouch, which will form part of the carry-on baggage. (In the UK it is known as hand luggage).

e-cigs on a plane

The rules also state that airlines may prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes, in the same way that it may prohibit the use of any electric device.

Because the amount carried in an e-juice or e-liquid container is so small, it is not usually a problem with international customs, who are only interested in amounts of liquid larger than 3.4 ounces or 100ml. It may however leak while it is being carried in a bag-it is probably best to stick the cartridge in a bag before placing it into another bag, so any leaks do not go all over your bag!

All in all, attempting to smoke e-cigs on a plane may prove to be more trouble than its worth!

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