Electronic cigarettes are many times marketed as a smoke-free alternative to combustible tobacco and vapers are often misled to believe that they can use their device anywhere. Traveling by plane is subjected to serious regulations even for non-smokers because of the numerous restrictions, but when it comes to vaping some companies have a zero tolerance policy.
According to the Herald Sun, such is the case of Australia’s Tiger Airways that was recently faced with an e-cigarette related incident where a passenger is being investigated by the Australian Federal Police after allegedly being caught smoking an electronic cigarette during a flight.
A Tiger Airlines representative said that vapor from an electronic cigarette set off the plane’s smoke alarms on the 2.40pm flight TT 565 from the Gold Coast to Melbourne. The company has confirmed a passenger was questioned by the Australian Federal Police upon landing at Melbourne Airport at 6pm for breaching its ‘zero tolerance’ nonsmoking policy.‘ Although permitted for carriage, the use on of e-cigarettes on board the aircraft, including recharging, is strictly prohibited,’ the airline representative said.
A woman that witnessed the whole incident described as the red light switched on in the ceiling of the plane cabin when the alarm went off.The crew then quickly found the alleged smoker, confiscated the vaporizer, placed it in a sick bag and carried it from his seat near the back of the cabin to the front of the aircraft. What at a first glance seemed like something resembling a gun or a very long lighter turned out to be an advanced personal vaporizer designed for e-smoking a nicotine based flavored liquid. While she heard a family member of the perpetrator saying he has done this before on an airplane, airline representatives said it was standard for any breach of its non-smoking policy to be referred to the AFP.
An AFP representative said members met a passenger at Melbourne’s domestic terminal after the flight touched down and questioned him about the use of an e-cigarette on board. However ‘As this investigation is currently ongoing, it would be inappropriate for the AFP to comment further,’ she added.
According to a Tiger Airlines spokesperson, electronic cigarettes also contain lithium batteries, which may be considered dangerous if not carried in an appropriate manner, besides their risk as a potential fire hazard.
Since virtually no companies allow the use of e-cigarettes on board, our advice is to always carry your device in the haul luggage. This way you won’t be tempted to puff on it inside the toilet or if you are positioned on the last seat and everyone else is sleeping or minding their own business. Even though these devices can’t pose a real threat they are against the international air flight policy and might get you in a lot of trouble. Always use your e-cigarette with caution in public places or means of transportation and make sure to ask about the rules before attracting any unnecessary attention.