‘No Smoking’ Also Applies to E-Cigarettes on Flights, Court Says

Bloomberg covers a lawsuit CEI filed against the Department of Transportation airplane e-cigarette ban.

Vaping is smoking, a federal appeals court ruled, upholding regulation that adds e-cigarettes to an existing ban on the use of traditional tobacco-burning products on commercial flights in the U.S.

The decision Friday by the Washington-based court leaves in place the Department of Transportation’s new rule barring e-cigarettes in flight to protect people from the devices’ second-hand vapor. The prohibition announced last year applies to scheduled airlines, charter operators and foreign carriers flying to or from the U.S.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives sued over the rule. An e-cigarette user joined in their complaint.

Sam Kazman, general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said in a statement on Friday that the organization is considering whether to appeal the ruling.

“Today’s court ruling creates a dangerous new rule for interpreting the law,” Kazman said. “It allows the commonly-understood language of Congress’s 30-year-old no-smoking statute to be stretched in a ban on e-cigarettes — even though e-cigarettes involve no combustion and produce no smoke.”

Kazman maintained that vaping “is an entirely different activity” from smoking. “Any risks to airline passengers are totally undemonstrated,” he said.

The case is Competitive Enterprise Institute v. U.S. Department of Transportation, 16-1128, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia (Washington).

Read the full article on Bloomberg.