The world has just become a little sadder for people who enjoy their cigarettes in electronic form. The devices have just been banned from checked luggage, which means that those people wanting to smoke once they arrive at their destination will either just have to purchase a disposable cig they can toss, go back to getting their nicotine fix manually, or carry their vapes onto the plane so they can keep a close eyes on them. But that’s not because the Department of Transportation is trying to be a buzzkill; they just want to make sure that no one’s cool-as-hell smoking machine will set the entire plane on fire.
Forbes reports that the ban doesn’t come without precedent. In 2014, an electronic cigarette set someone’s luggage on fire while in the cargo hold (the plane had to be evacuated), and, just this year, a piece of luggage caught on fire while chilling in the baggage area at LAX. The cause? An overheated e-cig.
“We know from recent incidents that e-cigarettes in checked bags can catch fire during transport,” U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “Fire hazards in flight are particularly dangerous. Banning e-cigarettes from checked bags is a prudent safety measure.”
The interim final rule, issued on Monday by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, applies to e-cigarettes, battery-powered devices that simulate tobacco smoking by producing heated vapors, which resembles smoke, as well as similar items like e-cigs, e-cigars, e-hookahs, e-pipes, personal vaporizers, and electronic nicotine delivery systems.
It goes without saying that passengers won’t be allowed to charge their electronic cigarettes aboard commercial aircrafts, either. But if that’s what it takes to keep you safe while you’re hurtling through the sky at hundreds of miles an hour, it sounds pretty reasonable.