If you’ve been on a commercial flight lately, you probably already know that ecigs are generally not welcome on board. Most airlines have implemented a no vaping policy despite the lack of federal laws to dictate whether vaping in air is acceptable. However, leaving vaping rules up to airlines isn’t enough for New Jersey lawmaker Rep. Frank Pallone. He is pushing for a new federal law to insure that no one ever uses an ecig on a plane again.
Pallone has targeted ecigs in many of his past campaigns and most recently, he lobbied to have vaping banned in national parks. Despite numerous studies that suggest that ecigs are a safer alternative to smoking, Pallone wants to see this new technology disappear. “I think that e-cigarettes should be treated like regular cigarettes for all purposes,” he said. “Most people think e-cigarettes are already banned on flights because most of the airlines do in fact ban them of their own accord, but it’s not required by federal law that they be banned.”
The Department of Transportation warned passengers that ecigs were not allowed on flights in 2011, but there has never been any federal statute created to insure that passengers follow the rules. Pallone is petitioning for this to change so that airplanes remain vapor-free zones. “I’ve asked the Department of Transportation to ban e-cigarettes on planes in the same way that they ban regular cigarettes. Various agencies say they’re looking into banning e-cigarettes on airplanes, but they haven’t officially taken a position yet and I’m trying to get them to take a position and take it in favor of treating the e-cigarettes the same way as regular cigarettes,” he said.
Pallone’s growing hatred for ecigs comes just as the American people are beginning to really embrace ecig technology. The CDC reports that vaping has more than doubled in recent years and more than 20.4 million people have tried an ecig at least once. The vast majority of today’s ecig users are former smokers that have opted for vaping as a way to wean down their nicotine levels and immediately eliminate tobacco, tar, and thousands of carcinogens.
It’s been more than 20 years since federal law banned smoking on planes, but it might not be long before ecigs are also prohibited. Do you think vaping should be banned on flights?