The US Department of Transportation has finally (really this time, you guys!) had it with those e-cigarettes on America's planes. On Wednesday, the government agency announced that e-cigarette use is now explicitly banned on all commercial flights going into, out of, and within the United States. Seriously! Just now this is a rule. The decision has been in the works for a while — it was first introduced in 2011 — and has gone through a few stages, including an "interim final rule" in October 2015. Now, however, it has become a "final rule", which leaves us wondering if we should maybe buy it a graduation present, or something?
In any case, e-cigs got the axe because of their potential health risks. "Electronic cigarettes cause concern because studies have shown that e-cigarette aerosol can contain a number of harmful chemicals," the agency said in a statement that will all but surely enrage e-cigarette truthers. "While further study is needed to fully understand the risks, the Department believes that a precautionary approach is best." The ruling now effectively places cigarettes and e-cigarettes in the same category as far as use on flights is concerned.
According to the Washington Post, prior to today's ruling, passengers were able to bring their e-cigs onboard but not in their checked luggage. There was apparently some confusion over whether passengers could actually use their e-cigs while on the plane, but today's announcement swiftly cleared that smoke.
While vaporisers weren't explicitly mentioned, the text of the ruling makes it pretty clear that vaping of any kind — except where medical devices are concerned — is a no-no (emphasis ours):
Smoking means the use of a tobacco product, electronic cigarettes whether or not they are a tobacco product, or similar products that produce a smoke, mist, vapour, or aerosol, with the exception of products (other than electronic cigarettes) which meet the definition of a medical device in section 201(h) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, such as nebulizers.
Duncan Hunter is going to be so disappointed.
Top image: Getty