Using electronic cigarettes on a flight

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By cabincrew.com on Tuesday 20th Sep, 2011 at 15:50

Here at Cabincrew.com we like to pay attention to what you guys are talking about and have noticed there has been a lot of chat and confusion over the rules surrounding the use of electronic cigarettes during a flight.

The craze of electronic cigarettes has taken off (pardon the pun) massively over the last few months, especially in the UK and the USA.

People have been using them as a way to help them quit smoking or as a way of cutting down their intake – one of the most popular aspects of the electronic cigarette is that they don’t actually ‘smoke’ so people can use them in places they wouldn’t normally be able to.

It seems to be that although the electronic cigarettes aren’t real cigarettes, there is still a stigma about using them in some places. They emit a vapour-like substance and some even look like real cigarettes so you can just imagine the outrage of some passengers when they suddenly see the person next to them ‘light up’.

So what are the rules then? Well that’s the tricky part, as these are relatively new devices there doesn’t seem to be an actual rule book about it – which is annoying for both Cabin Crew and passengers as nobody knows what they’re supposed to be doing.

The FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) hasn’t yet listed the electronic cigarette as a banned item for use during a flight - however it has clearly stated that the final say-so must come from each individual airline and cabin policy.

Taking this into account there are currently three airlines which have banned the use of electronic cigarettes on their flights. Since 2009 Virgin Atlantic, TUI and Thomson have stated that these devices cannot be used in-flight.

That said, the best advice for all Cabin Crew is to check with their airline if they are unsure of the regulations surrounding the electronic cigarette.

Some people said that banning these devices defeats the point of having them as they, in theory, do exactly the same job as a nicotine patch or gum. Others say that they should be banned because they might disturb other passengers, or even worse, some passengers might not know what they are and light up a ‘real’ cigarette themselves.

So what do you guys think? Should they be banned? Or should passengers have the right to use the electronic cigarette during a flight? We’re always interested to hear your thoughts, so post a comment below.