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Court Upholds Obama Rule Banning Vaping on Airplanes

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The Hill covers a lawsuit filed by CEI against the Department of Transportation's airplane vaping ban.

A federal appeals court Friday upheld an Obama administration regulation that bans the use of electronic cigarettes — or e-cigarettes — on commercial airplanes.

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected arguments by a free-market group and an e-cigarette advocacy group that the Department of Transportation (DOT) exceeded its legal authority and used bad science to justify the 2016 rule.

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Officials also cited studies about the health effects of second-hand tobacco vapor, studies that the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association said weren’t scientifically sound.

But by a 2-to-1 ruling, the D.C. court rejected those arguments, saying that the DOT acted reasonably and within the authority Congress gave.

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In a statement following the ruling, Sam Kazman, general counsel at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said the court redefined “smoking” in a “dangerous” way.

“It allows the commonly-understood language of Congress’s 30-year old no-smoking statute to be stretched into a ban on e-cigarettes — even though e-cigarettes involve no combustion and produce no smoke,” he said.

Read the full article on The Hill.