Looks like cigarette smokers will have to keep furiously chewing nicotine gum on U.S. flights, as the Department of Transportation has said “nope, not gonna do it,” to allowing smokeless electronic cigarettes on airplanes.
Right now the DOT is just saying the e-cigarettes are prohibited, in a letter from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to Sen. Frank Lautenberg obtained by The Associated Press, and an official ban will be issued in the spring.
So far, LaHood says the DOT has been of the view that smoking regulations apply to e-cigs as well as traditional smokes. Some consumers have been assuming that the electronic devices just couldn’t be used during takeoff and landing, when other electronic equipment is also prohibited.
Lautenberg, who first wrote the legislation to ban smoking on flights, said he wanted to clear up confusion among passengers, as some airlines have begun telling them e-cigarettes aren’t allowed.
“We still don’t know the health effects of e-cigarettes, and we don’t want to turn airline passengers into laboratory mice,” Lautenberg said in an e-mailed statement.
What do you think? Should the smokeless cigs be allowed on flights?