Law experts in America say a new e-cigarette ban on planes may be illegal.
Lawyers representing a non-profit public policy think tank called the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) are suing the US Department of Transportation over a new regulation brought in in 2016. According to the official petition the lawyers believe the DOT exceeded it authority with a new regulation that bans passengers from using e-cigarettes during airline flights or packing them in their luggage.
However, although the CASAA may appear to be standing-up for the rights of e-cigarette users, this is not the case. CASAA Executive Director Julie Woessner says they are more worried about a government agency exceeding its authority than by the e-cigarette ban.
“Agencies only have the authority that Congress grants them,” Woesner said, before pointing out the fact that e-cigarettes are “significantly different from tobacco cigarettes” and stating her belief that they should not be treated in the same way.
“I think people like to conflate vaping and smoking, but they are two very different things,” she explained. “Smoking involves lighting something on fire and then inhaling the products of combustion, whereas vaping does not involve combustion . . . . DOT simply does not have the authority to issue this ban.”