The U.S. Senate is holding an emergency meeting next week to discuss the possibility of a complete ban of all e-cigs in carry-on luggage. Current FAA regulations already prohibit vaping on airplanes and storing vaping technology and e-cigs in checked baggage. If passed, Amendment SA 3547 to the FAA Reauthorization Bill will force vapers to leave their gear behind and purchase new products after landing in their new destination. But even this is more difficult than it initially sounds.
SA 3547: A Big Win for Big Tobacco?
Oddly, FAA regulations would still allow travelers to transport traditional tobacco cigarettes in carry-on baggage, checked baggage, and even on their person. In fact, it would still be legal for airports to sell cigarettes in their kiosks while e-cigs and vaping devices will be banned from airport vendor shops entirely. Many in the vaping community believe that SA 3547 is a Big Win for Big Tobacco.
After all, former non-smokers who are dependent on vaping devices might be far more tempted to purchase a pack of Marlboros or Salems from an airport vendor either before or after a long and stressful flight. And what about those boring layovers that can last for several hours? If Amendment SA 3547 passes, the vaping community will be left completely vulnerable to the enticements of Big Tobacco.
Senator Blumenthal of Connecticut is leading the charge to pass SA 3547, but the ban would affect the nationwide vaping community. As a result, the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Organization (SFATA) is urging all vapors to contact their state Senators to express their outrage and concern over the new legislation.
Fueling the fire: E-cigs in carry-on luggage
Unfortunately, politicians like Blumenthal have more than enough bad press to support a total ban on airline vaping. Just last month, an Atlanta flight to St. Louis was delayed on the tarmac of the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport after a vaping device caught fire in a passenger’s backpack.
Firefighters were even called to the plane, and a smartphone picture of the event snapped by a fellow traveler went viral over social media. Almost immediately, the story was picked up by CNN, Fox News, and other major media outlets. Even though Delta Flight 689 was only delayed by about twenty minutes, stories like these of “exploding e-cigs” are only fueling the fires surrounding in-flight safety and vaping technology.
The vaping community has a series of tough legislative battles in front of them, and Amendment SA 3547 banning e-cigs in carry-on luggage is only the latest. We encourage all vapers to follow the lead of SAFTA. Contact your state Senators by sending an email, making a phone call, or writing a snail mail letter. And by all means, vape responsibly.
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