Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A key selling point of electronic cigarettes is that they can used in places where smoking is banned, like bars, restaurants, offices, and aeroplanes.For those who need a regular nicotine fix, the chance to smoke in planes — where stepping outside isn’t an option — is a big selling point.
On its website, blu Cigs says its products “can be smoked in bars, restaurants, planes and offices.”
SKYCIG told Business Insider its e-cigarettes “are not covered by the smoking ban so can virtually be used anywhere even when no smoking signs are in place, including planes.”
Fueling such claims is lack of clear federal regulation. In February 2011, the AP reported that the Department of Transportation “says the use of smokeless electronic cigarettes is prohibited and plans to issue an official ban.”
But when we asked the DOT if that official ban was ever issued, a spokesperson told us to ask the FAA. The FAA told us it allows U.S. air carriers to make their own policies regarding e-cigarettes, but that “Currently, U.S. air carriers do not allow them since they contradict the no smoking ban as well as produce a propylene glycol emission when smoked.”
Hoping to clear things up, we contacted Airlines for America, the country’s largest airline trade association, per the FAA’s advice. Their spokesperson told us simply, “In the absence of definitive governmental guidance, airlines are deciding this issue individually.”
So we went to the airlines, and finally got a few answers.
Here’s the bottom line: No, you can’t smoke e-cigarettes in aeroplanes. At least not in planes operated by large American carriers.
JetBlue says that although electronic cigarettes “may be non-hazardous, JetBlue does NOT allow the USE of them on any of our flights,” because the vapor they produce is a “nuisance.”
United bans all “simulated smoking materials” are banned, including e-cigs.
Here’s American’s response: “American Airlines does not allow electronic cigarettes to be used onboard.”
Delta’s answer was similar: “Delta does not permit the use of electronic cigarettes on board any Delta or Delta Connection aircraft.”
Sorry smokers, but if you want to get your fix while in the air, nicotine gum and patches are still your best option.
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