Smoking in airplanes hasn’t been legal in years. So long, in fact, that most newer airplanes don’t even have a no-smoking light, because everyone knows that lighting up is a big no-no. But it seems that smoking electronic cigarettes is still perfectly legal, which the Obama Administration would like to put a stop to.
The AP is reporting that today, the Transportation Department proposed a clarification that would add smokeless electronic cigarettesm which have been around since 2009, to the existing ban on smoking. Electronic cigarettes, which are also called by the ultimately un-hip name “e-cigarettes” don’t produce any smoke, but deliver nicotine vapor to the user, using the power of what is basically a watch battery. And while the e-cigarette industry claims that these cigarette-a-likes are harmless for those nearby a user, the Administration remains dubious, mostly due to a lack of evidence one way or the other.
Additionally, there is some concern about the potential confusion for other passengers, should airlines continue to allow electronic cigarettes, which look an awful lot like real ones, when actual smoking is so widely prohibited.
The FDA has already issued warnings about the dangers of electronic cigarettes to smokers themselves (because, you know, they contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals), though no prominent studies about the possible impact of second-hand electronic smoking have been conducted as of yet.
What would you think if you saw someone e-smoking on a plane? Let us know in the comments.