New rules are going into effect for electronic smoking devices on aircraft.
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Monday electronic smoking devices are prohibited from being packed in checked baggage. Also, while users can carry on their electronic smoking devices, they cannot charge or use the device while on the aircraft.
“We know from recent incidents that e-cigarettes in checked bags can catch fire during transport,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was quoted in the release. “Fire hazards in flight are particularly dangerous. Banning e-cigarettes from checked bags is a prudent safety measure.”
The DOT cited a pair of incidents from the past 15 months.
- Aug. 9, 2014 – Boston’s Logan Airport, e-cigarrette in checked bag in cargo hold of aircraft catches fire. Forced evacuation of aircraft.
- Jan. 4, 2015 – Los Angeles Airport, missing checked bag found to be on fire in a baggage area after missing its connecting flight. Emergency responders attributed the fire to an overheated e-cigarrette inside the bag.
Passengers are still allowed to carry other devices containing batteries for personal use such as laptops and cell phones in checked or carry-on baggage. Passengers may also transport batteries for personal use in carry-on baggage.