E-cigarettes banned from checked bags on planes

Add something to the list of things you can't pack in your checked bag before a flight: electronic cigarettes.

The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a final rule last week prohibiting any battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices from being packed in a checked bag.

In addition, the federal agency has prohibited passengers and crew members from charging the devices or their batteries in the plane.

Why? E-cigarettes have been known to catch fire.

A federal study by the U.S. Fire Administration reported 25 incidents of fires or explosions caused by e-cigarettes from 2009 to 2014.

A checked bag that arrived late at Los Angeles International Airport in January and missed its connecting flight caught fire in the luggage area because of an overheated e-cigarette packed inside.

Passengers can still tote e-cigarettes in their carry-on bags or pockets but they can't smoke them in the plane.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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