Transportation Department bans e-cigarettes on commercial flights

Putting an end to any confusion about whether electronic cigarettes violate the ban on smoking on commercial planes, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a final rule Wednesday snuffing out the popular devices on domestic and international flights from the U.S.

Most airlines had already banned smoking e-cigarettes, and the U.S. Department of Transportation has prohibited passengers from packing them in their checked luggage because they have been known to catch fire.

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The federal agency had previously indicated that smoking e-cigarettes would be covered under the same ban that prohibits passengers from smoking regular cigarettes, pipes, cigars and other tobacco products on commercial planes. But the rule did not explicitly list e-cigarettes.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said he has submitted a final rule, which becomes final 30 days after it is published, saying that electronic cigarettes fall under the same ban as the use of other tobacco products.

"The department took a practical approach to eliminate any confusion between tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes by applying the same restrictions on both," Foxx said in a statement.

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


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