A federal appeals court Friday upheld an Obama administration regulation that bans vaping on commercial airplanes.
The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected arguments by an e-cigarette advocacy group that the Department of Transportation (DOT) exceeded its legal authority and used false science to justify the 2016 rule. However, by a 2-to-1 ruling, the D.C. court stated that the DOT acted reasonably and within the authority Congress gave.
While Nutrovape isn’t technically an electronic cigarette, we believe those products could still fall under this legal ban.
E-cigarettes have been shown to be less harmful than traditional cigarette smoking, but regulators and some politicians have sought to nonetheless subject them to similar standards.
Congress banned smoking on short flights in the 1980s and extended the rule to all flights in 2000. The Obama administration’s DOT then declared last year that vaping is also included under that prohibition. The basic argument states that studies, however flawed they may be, tend to show that e-cigarette vapor in confined aircrafts could potentially harm non-users.
“Especially due to the ‘involuntary nature’ of secondhand exposure on aircrafts, where individuals are often assigned seats, the department gave particular weight to these health risks.”
In a statement following the ruling, Sam Kazman, general counsel at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said the court redefined “smoking” in a “dangerous” way. This is because many people believe that prohibitions like these hurt innovation and hurt the entire vaping industry, from real e-cigarettes with nicotine to supplement vapes like Nutrovape. One could also argue that rulings similar to this one show a misuse of political power, especially when tied to outdated beliefs and scare tactics against the American public.
Here’s hoping that devices like those from Nutrovape will one day be separated from electronic cigarettes that usually contain nicotine.