The final rule, to be published in the Federal
Register, clarifies that the Department’s
airline smoking rule prohibits the use of
electronic cigarettes and similar products in
addition to the existing prohibition on the
smoking of tobacco products.
The Department views its current regulatory
smoking ban to be sufficiently broad to include
the use of electronic cigarettes; however, the
prior rule did not explicitly define “smoking.”
The Department took this action to
eliminate any confusion over whether its ban
includes electronic cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes cause concern because
studies have shown that e-cigarette aerosol can
contain a number of harmful chemicals.
While further study is needed to fully
understand the risks, the Department believes
that a precautionary approach is best.
The Department is particularly concerned
that vulnerable populations (such as children,
the elderly, and passengers with respiratory
issues) would be exposed to the aerosol within a
confined space, without the opportunity to avoid