Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

Norton Thanks Blumenthal for Getting Her Bill Banning Use of E-Cigarettes and Other Electronic Smoking Devices on Airplanes in Senate-Passed FAA Reauthorization Bill

Apr 19, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today said that her bill prohibiting the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping devices for smoking on airplanes was included in the bill passed today by the Senate to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  Norton’s bill was previously passed as an amendment with a bipartisan vote by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee during its markup of a FAA reauthorization bill.  Norton expressed her gratitude to Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) for working with her to get the bill included in the Senate FAA bill.  Norton first introduced her e-cigarette bill last October after the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a rule prohibiting passengers and crewmembers from carrying battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices in checked baggage, which did not ban the use of these vaping devices on airplanes.  After Norton’s e-cigarette amendment passed in committee, USDOT issued a rule banning use of e-cigarettes on U.S. and foreign airlines with flights within, into or out of the country, but Norton’s provision is necessary to make the ban permanent law.

“I am grateful to Senator Blumenthal for working with me to once and for all ban the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices on airplanes,” Norton said.  “A Member brought his own vaping device during our House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee markup of the FAA reauthorization bill.  After that Member started blowing smoke, we picked up Republican votes and passed this amendment as a result.  This provision will protect passengers from the significant fire and health risks posed by vaping devices.  As we celebrate 25 years since smoking was banned on domestic flights in the United States, it is a good year to ban e-cigarette use as well.”

“It has been nearly 30 years since we first recognized the dangerous, damaging health effects of smoking on airplanes by banning smoking in-flight, and it is clear, commonsense that we should permanently ban the use of harmful e-cigarettes, too,” Senator Blumenthal said.  “Airline passengers should not be forced to breathe second-hand smoke while trapped on an airplane with someone using an e-cigarette.  I commend the Senate for approving my measure so our skies remain smoke-free,‎ and I will work tirelessly to ensure this permanent ban becomes law.”

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