Passenger With E-Cig Kicked Off Flight

Does it violate 'no-smoking' rules? Continental thinks so
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2012 4:05 PM CST
Smoking devices by the inventor of the electronic cigarette, Hon Lik, are seen in Beiijng on May 25, 2009.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A flight out of Portland had to return to the airport yesterday after a man started puffing on an e-cigarette shortly after takeoff and refused to stop. He was escorted off the plane at Portland International Airport and may face federal charges, reports (It's not clear what those charges might be.) E-cigs do not give off smoke but rather a vapor from a liquid nicotine solution. This nuance did not win over the flight staff, which accused the passenger of disobeying the "no-smoking" sign.

While federal law prohibits smoking on commercial planes, it does not address the relatively new e-cigs, which are gaining popularity as a tobacco-less alternative to smoking. The Department of Transportation has signaled it might ban them as early as this spring. Continental Airlines, which operated the flight, already has an explicit ban on them, notes MSNBC.

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