"While many major carriers have decided to prohibit the use of
electronic cigarettes, federal regulations still allow these
products to be used during flight," the lawmakers, all Democrats,
wrote to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Regulators first proposed a ban on "vaping" on U.S. flights in
At the time, the DOT noted that releasing a "vapor that may contain
harmful substances or respiratory irritants in a confined space,
especially to those who are at a higher risk, is contrary to the
purpose and intent of the statutory and regulatory ban on smoking
In their letter to Foxx, the senators included examples of
advertisements that feature or imply the use of electronic
cigarettes on airplanes.
"Numerous electronic cigarette companies have marketed their
products as offering the freedom to break the rules or smoke in
places where traditional cigarettes are banned, such as airplanes,"
the senators wrote.
Signing on to the letter were Barbara Boxer of California, Dick
Durbin of Illinois, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Richard Blumenthal of
Connecticut, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and
Edward Markey of Massachusetts.
Separately, the American Medical Association, the nation’s largest
physician organization, adopted on Tuesday a new policy backing
stricter limits on the sales and marketing practices used by the
makers of electronic cigarettes.
In addition to restrictions on the sale and marketing of
e-cigarettes to minors, the AMA said it supports child-proof and
tamper-proof packaging and design, enhanced product labeling, and
restrictions on flavors that appeal to minors, like tutti-frutti and
[to top of second column]
It also backed prohibition of unsupported marketing claims that the
products can be used as smoking cessation tools.
In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed rules that
would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to people under the age of 18,
but would not restrict flavored products, online sales or
FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said at the time that the
proposals represented the first “foundational” step towards broader
restrictions if scientific evidence shows they are needed to protect
(Reporting by Ros Krasny and Toni Clarke. Editing by Andre Grenon)
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