DOT bans e-cigs on flights

What poses more of a threat to the safe and interruption free operation of flights?

People who look like they may be smoking but actually are not smoking? Or people who are deprived of nicotine via both cigarettes and alternate nicotine delivery devices that do not actually impact or harm other airline passengers? I’d personally guess the former- flights interrupted by smokers hiding in bathrooms or placating their addled nerves with cocktails are known if infrequent issues on flights- but it seems the DOT is willing to put their money on the latter.

The regulatory body has decided that even though there’s no indication e-cigarettes have any effect whatsoever on bystanders, the harmless-to-others devices should be banned on commercial flights because… well, because nothing. Because Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to Sen. Frank Lautenberg don’t really seem to know exactly how e-cigarettes work. President of Blu Cigs Jason Healy took a wishy-washy stance on the issue, somewhat validating the undeniably stupid idea that since e-cigarettes look like smoking, criticism of them is somehow valid:

“I understand from an airline’spoint of view the hassles it could create,” said Healy, whose company has partnered with a luxury charter jet company to provide free e-cigs on private flights. “It’s not the actual product, it’s the disruption and explaining to everyone else that it’s not smoke.”

Okay, smoking bans make sense, but now because something reminds us of smoking we have to run screaming from it? While this ban doesn’t affect the majority of people, it should serve as a reminder that the morality police are out in force in this country seeking to ban anything they find distasteful, and something you quite like could be next. This particular ban- which some might argue itself is distasteful- is set to become official this spring.

[MSNBC via Consumerist]