Filed Under:Agent Broker, E&S/Specialty Business

No vaping allowed on U.S. airlines in rule to protect health

In this photo taken Tuesday, July 7, 2015, Will Braaten, exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at the Vapor Spot in Sacramento, Calif.  (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
In this photo taken Tuesday, July 7, 2015, Will Braaten, exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at the Vapor Spot in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

(Bloomberg) -- Passengers on commercial flights in the U.S. won’t be allowed to use e-cigarettes under a regulation designed to protect people from the devices’ second-hand vapor.

The Department of Transportation said it considers e-cigarettes to be equivalent to smoking, which is already banned on airliners, according to an e-mailed release Wednesday.

“This final rule is important because it protects airline passengers from unwanted exposure to aerosol fumes that occur when electronic cigarettes are used onboard airplanes,” Transportation Secretary Anthony 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.”

The action concludes a process that began in 2010 as the department began considering how to treat the new devices that have replaced traditional cigarettes and other tobacco products. The rule takes effect in 30 days.

Brian May, a spokesman for Altria Group Inc., which sells Marlboro cigarettes as well as e-cigarette products, declined to comment on the regulation. Reynolds American Inc. and Philip Morris International Inc. didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Second action

The action is the second involving electronic smoking devices on aircraft since October. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which regulates dangerous goods on aircraft, issued an interim rule forbidding passengers from carrying the devices in checked baggage or charging the devices on aircraft. The lithium batteries used in e-cigarettes have been linked to fires.

The DOT concluded that the aerosol emitted from e-cigarettes or exhaled by users contains heavy metals, particles that may damage the lungs and cancer-causing chemicals, according to the regulation.

Related: Warning issued on exploding bulk-battery shipments on planes

The prohibition applies to scheduled airlines, charter operators and foreign carriers flying to or from the U.S.

Lawmakers applauded the DOT action. Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat who co-sponsored a measure directing DOT to finalize the e-cigarette rule, and Senator Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, both said they approved of the new restrictions in e-mailed press releases. 

“This is a sensible rule that will help protect consumer health and improve safety on commercial flights,” Reed said in the release.

Have you given us a Like on Facebook?

Copyright 2017 Bloomberg. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Related

Think you’re safe from fires by smoking an e-cigarette? Think again

Still want to smoke? One solution is an electronic cigarette, but it may not be as safe as you think.

Featured Video

Most Recent Videos

Video Library ››

Top Story

5 ways to make festival-style concerts safe and enjoyable

The Fyre Festival became the overnight talk of social media and the fodder of talk show hosts the first weekend of May.

Top Story

7 traits of authentic insurance leaders

The idea of leadership is often misunderstood, especially in the insurance industry.

More Resources

Comments

eNewsletter Sign Up

Specialty Markets Insight eNewsletter

Receive updates and analyses on hard to place and challenging coverages. Sign Up Now!

Mobile Phone

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.