eCigarettes are an alternative to traditional smoking that many consumers have decided are well-worth the advantages. They are often allowed in public areas where traditional cigarettes are not. As of now, many airlines allow electronic cigarettes to be used on planes, although reports are showing that this soon may be a thing of the past. Most airports allow the use of eCigarettes inside airport walls but again, many may soon ban the use of eCigarettes just as they have banned traditional smoking.
Electronic nicotine devices allow passengers to obtain a dose of nicotine while flying without having to wait until they have landed and exited the airport before they can light up a traditional cigarette. While many airlines do allow passengers to use them, Ray LaHood, United States Transportation Secretary released a notification that suggests a ban of eCigarettes on planes an inside airport perimeters may soon take effect.
In 2009, popular airline Ryanair announced that they would allow their passengers to have and use eCigarettes on all of their flights. BMIbaby and EasyJet also allowed their use. Some other airlines have prohibited their use however and many are waiting to see just what regulations the FDA decides to place on eCigarettes before they make their final decision as to whether or not their usage will be allowed inflight. Many eCigarette distributors still claim that their products are permitted to be used anywhere, even in areas where traditional smoking has been legally banned. Some airlines however, are not allowing them at all at the moment.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic airlines have cautioned their passengers that using eCigarettes will soon be restricted to certain areas and on certain flights. Many leading airlines such as American Airlines, Air Canada and others currently do not permit passengers to use their eCigs on flights at all and they are not permitted inside terminals for these airlines. Traditional smoking was banned on American flights more than 20 years ago and reports show that the FAA recently charged nearly 700 passengers for smoking on flights and those consumers incurred fines that were more than $1,000 in some cases.
The FDA will likely become the deciding factor on whether or not the use of eCigs on planes and in airports will be permitted. They were unsuccessful in a recent court case that suggested eCigs should be treated as drug delivering devices as opposed to tobacco products but the end result for regulations by the FDA and their usage in public areas is still unclear.
Those who use eCigs know the benefits that they offer as opposed to traditional cigarettes but there are still many who are unclear of these advantages or of the potential risks associated with eCigarettes. Once the FDA makes their ruling and decides on regulations, airports and airlines may completely ban the use of eCigs. In the meantime, consumers are urged to check with their airline prior to arriving at the airport to ensure that using an eCig is still permitted with that specific airline.