Are E Cigarettes Re-Igniting the Smoking and Flying Debate?
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This year saw the 25th anniversary of the ban on smoking on aeroplanes, and although you may have thought this debate was long dead and buried, vaping has caused many to once again call into question the ban on enjoying nicotine in the skies.
In the 1960s flight attendants started pushing for a work environment that was tobacco-free, and in 1972, after a poll discovered that more than 60% of airline passengers felt that smoke in the cabins was bothersome, the Civil Aeronautics Board ruled that separate cabins for smokers and non-smokers were to be enforced. These separate cabins didn’t work out as well as planned, and in 1990, after tests proved that those in non-smoking sections were still subjected to a significant amount of second-hand smoke, lighting up in the air was banned altogether.
An Airline-Friendly Alternative
With the advent of e cig cartridges and vaping, the question about enjoying your nicotine in a different way on an aeroplane has again reared its head, with vapers wondering if they can use their devices when flying. Initially, many airlines had no rules pertaining to vaping, as the devices were relatively new, but an increasing number of carriers are now enforcing a no-smoking and no-vaping regulation in the skies.
The debate as to whether e cigarettes should fall under the same category as tobacco cigarettes can get quite heated, especially as these electronic devices don’t emit smoke, don’t have a pungent smell and have no lit coal. For those flying, e cig cartridges, especially those with delicious flavours, seemed to be the solution, but a ban on using these devices has seen many having to wait till after landing to enjoy vaping.
Open to Debate
The ban on vaping in the skies is still open to debate, and there may still be some leeway for those who make use of e cig cartridges to educate those who may simply be banning them because they are not informed as to how they work.
Vapers often have to educate others about how their devices function and their benefits. If an airline were to have a vape-friendly rules, it shouldn’t have any bearing on non-vaping travellers' comfort. Unlike tobacco cigarettes, e cigs are almost unnoticeable when used, and they won’t affect others in the vicinity.
It’s interesting to note how vaping challenges rules and changes misconceptions, and the re-ignition of the debate about smoking on planes is just one of the areas that these innovative devices have affected.