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Where we stand: DOT bans vaping on airplanes

Use of e-cigarette and vaping products has outpaced tobacco control regulations, and the products remain unregulated by FDA pending the completion of deeming regulations which have been in draft for nearly two years. This makes DOT’s action to include electronic cigarettes under its longstanding ban on smoking in aircrafts so notable.

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Truth Initiative supports the inclusion of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) in all clean indoor air laws. While ENDS are substantially less harmful than the smoke from combustible tobacco, there is not enough evidence on the health impact to bystanders from exposure to the vapor released into the environment. Allowing the use of ENDS in closed environments serves to break down the hard-fought social norm against public smoking and contradicts smoking prevention and cessation. Passengers who smoke are already accustomed to not smoking on flights, and there are already FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies that can help curb nicotine cravings on long flights.

Over the last decade the public health community has been successful shifting attitudes away from smoking, especially among youth. DOT’s ban on smoking on airplanes helped to reduce the risk of adverse health effects for passengers and airline employees and increase passenger comfort. This rule to ban vaping on airplanes will further those same goals.

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