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Unfortunately, I am a smoker. In the 20th century things were easier and many airlines allowed smoking onboard which is almost impossible now. Anyway the electronic cigarettes were introduced few years ago and I have heard that some airlines allow them onboard. What airlines do allow the use of electronic cigarettes onboard?

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Allowing e-cigarettes would give sense for using the no-smoking sign to indicate that passengers should switch of their electronic devices ;) – user141 Jul 8 '13 at 9:40
@AnkurBanerjee he had included this link in the question – Dirty-flow Jul 8 '13 at 11:43
@happybuddha Not true, he is a salesman who is trying to sell his stuff.. – Nean Der Thal Jul 8 '13 at 16:11
Ryanair sells "smokeless cigarettes" for smoking on board. As @Doc pointed out in a comment to my now-deleted reply, they are not to be confused with electronic cigarettes, which are also smokeless. To quote from a review: "it's mainly hollow except for a small stick like look and feels waxy, and is slightly brown and infused with nicotine" The brand is SIMILAR. – feklee Jul 9 '13 at 8:13

4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I remember reading a piece about these recently enough that I thought it was on here. Evidently not. Anyway, there are brands like Vapestick, which at least on their website state that it's legal to use them onboard. I assume they'd get sued to infinity and beyond if that wasn't true, by now.

From their website:

While it isn't illegal to smoke electronic cigarettes on planes, it could definitely raise questions or cause other passengers to be alarmed, so you will need to approach the situation carefully if you plan on getting away with it.

However, further down the same page they also note that despite it not being illegal, many airlines do BAN it, so it's best to check with your airline first.

Electronic cigarettes on planes are banned by some airlines operating in the US. In the UK, you can still get away with it in most cases, but there's no way of knowing for sure. The easiest way to smoke electronic cigarettes on planes without raising any questions is to smoke in the rest room.

Personally I find something mildly suspect about how they tell you to 'get away with it' and the like. If there's a place in this modern world you really don't want to be upsetting people, it's onboard an airplane at 37k feet...

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I think that smokers would benefit from a brain transplant - or at least a partial one, for a range of reasons. However, using an e-cigarette in an airline restroom would seem as "harmless" as eg chewing nicotine gum or wearing a nicotine patch. I agree that the terms used are unwise - but the aim would be to not trigger incorrect reactions in uneducated people who thought you were smoking. | Example parallel case: If I was going to dismantle an electronic doofer on an aircraft to adjust or repair it (unlikely) then the rest room would seem to be the location of choice. – Russell McMahon Jan 9 '14 at 9:59
@RussellMcMahon: I consider myself to be fairly educated, and would prefer that one not smoke an e-cig within close proximity to me on an airplane (or anywhere else). I would consider smoking an e-cig in the restroom a reasonable compromise for those who feel the need for a nicotine fix by inhalation. – Flimzy Sep 2 '14 at 10:25

This is an interesting social/legal questions which I expect will change in the coming years. One airline that actively sells e-cigarettes on the plane is unsurprisingly Ryan Air (they'd do anything for an extra £/$/€). Interesting article from the BBC about this subject back in 2012 -

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Ryanair do NOT allow electronic cigarettes on their flights. They do allow passengers to use "smokeless cigarettes", which they sell on board the flights. These are not electronic cigarettes, and do not release any vapor like electronic cigarettes, but have been described as being like cotton wool dipped in nicotine. – Doc Jul 11 '13 at 14:36
Perhaps you read a different article. Quote from the BBC article - "Ryan Air allows e-cigarettes but also sells its alternative - a cotton bud soaked in nicotine." – CMartin Jul 11 '13 at 15:14
To wade into the argument,… It seems CMartin is right! – Todd Jenkins Jul 11 '13 at 15:20

I can't give a definitive answer, however I suspect that you will not find any major airlines anywhere in the world that allow electronic cigarettes.

All of the airlines I've flown recently have specifically called our electronic cigarettes as not being allowed on their flights, either in the in-flight magazine, or by specifically stating them as not being allowed during the safety briefing.

Even if you ignore the potential confusion between real and electronic cigarettes, the fact that these devices potentially give of a harmful vapor which then gets passed into the recirculated air within the aircraft would be enough for any major airline to ban then.

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Electronic cigarettes do not release harmful vapors: T.R. McAuley: Comparison of the effects of e-cigarette vapor and cigarette smoke on indoor air quality, October 2012, Vol. 24, No. 12, Inhalation Toxikology. – Thorsten S. Jul 8 '13 at 22:46
Yes, and normal cigarettes don't cause cancer. (I couldn't actually be bothered looking up a study that says that, but there are hundreds of them!) – Doc Jul 9 '13 at 1:34
@ThorstenS. Even if e-cig vapors aren't carcinogenic, they're still going to mess with the allergies of other passengers, not to mention being really, really annoying. At best, it would be like spraying cologne all over yourself mid-flight. – reirab Mar 12 '14 at 20:50
@reirab: I am surprised to learn something new. Could you explain in detail how the function of e-cigs cause allergies and release annoying smell ? – Thorsten S. Mar 14 '14 at 15:56
@ThorstenS. I'm not sure about their exact function, but I do know that I have to stand at least 10-20 ft. away from the people who use them on break - even outside - to keep from smelling them and having allergic reactions to their vapors - and I only have mild allergies. I can't imagine what it would be like for those with severe allergies/asthma. Normal cigarettes do this, too, of course, though the e-cigs that my coworkers use are actually worse in that regard than normal cigarettes. – reirab Mar 14 '14 at 16:38

Consider that even if the airline ignored it, it is very unlikely that your fellow passengers would. I would view use of an electronic cigarette as something similar to passing wind, with the exception that passing wind is not always avoidable for biological reasons. I would certainly not consent to someone near me using one in an enclosed space such as inside an aircraft cabin.

Also, in some airspace jurisdictions it is illegal to smoke or release other gases into the cabin of a flying aircraft. You may find the local police waiting to arrest you when the plane lands.

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protected by Ankur Banerjee Nov 12 '13 at 22:22

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