Why not vape on the plane?
Reasons why you can’t vape on an airplane include confusion between vapor and smoke, the potential fire hazard due to a malfunction, and the fact that it’s classified as antisocial.
Vaping on a passenger jet – an introduction
As with smoking, commercial airlines won’t allow you to vape e-cigarettes on flights. Many wonder why they are banned, as you would think they pose much less of a fire hazard than a regular cigarette and vapor dissipates much faster than smoke. Well, there are a few good reasons why they are banned.
Checked baggage and the risk of fire
If luggage puts pressure on an e-cigarette, it can be inadvertently activated. If permanently activated, it may cause the battery to overheat, which may cause a fire. As checked baggage is not monitored, this has in the past caused in-flight fires.
The sight of the “smoke”
One of the worst situations that can develop in an aircraft is an in-flight fire. Cabin crew are therefore trained to be constantly on the lookout for sources of smoke. With someone sitting behind a seat vaping, it would be very difficult for cabin crew to tell the difference between real smoke and vapor from an e-cigarette. With a few passengers vaping, a real source of smoke may go unnoticed for an extended period of time, which could turn into a fire.
Most aircraft smoke detectors cannot tell the difference between vapor and smoke. If you vape in the toilet, the smoke detector will go off. This sets off an alarm in the cockpit and should be investigated by the cabin crew.
With fewer smokers in the population, secondhand smoke has become increasingly socially unacceptable, as has secondhand vapor from e-cigarettes. Given the reduction in the number of smokers and vapers, it is reasonable to assume that the vast majority of passengers are quite happy with the airlines’ decision to ban vaping on flights. Although prohibited, it is also a common courtesy not to vape in confined spaces.
If you found this article interesting, check out our page explaining why there are still No Smoking signs on passenger planes.