E-Cigarette Banned On Airlines
E-Cigarette Treated Like A Terrorist
Before the introduction of the e-cigarette, smoking had been banned on commercial airlines since the 1990's. Some airlines, including Pan Am, even had smoking lounges where you could relax and have a smoke. As we learned more about the dangers of 2nd hand smoke, cigarette use was eventually banned on all flights. And rightly so. As when flying, you are basically in a sealed compartment and even non-smokers will inhale a significant amount of 2nd hand smoke.
Until last week, smokers enjoyed a loop-hole and were allowed to use smokeless cigarettes (aka electronic cigarettes) while flying on most airlines. As the electric version of tobacco cigarettes emit no second hand smoke, major carriers were allowing their use with no restrictions whatsoever. But now it appears smoke-free cigarette users will lose this freedom for reasons that are still unclear.
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has now prohibited the use of e-cigs on commercial airlines claiming that all rules concerning tobacco cigarettes also pertain to the smokeless version. This new crackdown seems puzzling as no study has yet to identify any toxic compound in the vapor released by e-cigarettes. As a matter of fact, the vapor has been identified as mostly water with nearly immeasurable traces of nicotine.
Even the FDA tried to ban smokeless cigarettes with no success. Federal courts ruled that e-cigs have not been proven harmful to users or those exposed to the vapor emitted by them. Studies done world wide cannot find any health risk associated with ecigs and four European airlines even sell them on their flights as a revenue source and a convenience for their fliers.
I have used e cigs and know the vapor emitted is odorless, colorless and almost invisible. So I say, instead of charging me $50 for my extra bag, why don't US airlines sell electric cigarettes on their flights to gain back lost revenue. With all of the studies indicating they're safe, banning them really seems to be an unnecessary, knee-jerk reaction.
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