Vaping on an Airplane: Why it’s Never Acceptable
Although electronic cigarettes emit no smoke or harsh chemicals that we are aware of, they are becoming banned in public places. This is understandable, since there haven’t been many longitudinal studies that have attempted to determine whether the vapor it emits is truly safe. Even though industry representatives urge the public that electronic cigarette vapor is harmless, this has not stopped airlines from banning their use on all flights. But what happens when someone breaks these rules and vapes on their flight anyway?
Such is the case with YouTube user “Jenee Fowler”. In the video, Jenee Fowler, or as she refers to herself: “Vape Girl”, explains to her subscribers how to successfully smoke an electronic cigarette on board an airplane. You can clearly see the shoulder of the passenger next to her, yet she continues to openly talk about how to smoke a vaporizer while on board. She noticeably takes a huge hit and then blows the resulting vapor into what appears to be an old towel, claiming that no one notices anything (although you can see a passenger behind her look over to see what she is doing). She then states that she “didn’t say break the law, but you know”. No Jenee Fowler, I do not know.
This video is detrimental to the vaping movement in a number of ways. For one, it looks pretty shady inhaling from a large metal box and then blowing the resulting vapor into a huge towel. This type of behavior, where she is trying to ‘conceal’ something, may lead others around her to assume that she is engaging in some sort of illicit drug use. Those passengers who are not familiar with vaping may then begin to attribute vaporizers with drug use. Another detrimental message this video is sending is that it is okay to break the law. By not adhering to DOT and FAA guidelines and encouraging others to do the same, this could cause more vapers to think it’s okay to engage in this type of behavior. Just because one irresponsible individual vaped on a plane does not make it okay for more people to hop on board this illegal trend. If more vapers decide to follow in Vape Girl’s footsteps, it would give the vaping movement an even worse name by implying that all vapers enjoy breaking the law. Finally, if someone had never seen a vaporizer before and assumed what she was carrying was a bomb, Air Marshalls and law enforcement would surely prosecute her, launching electronic cigarettes into the spotlight and giving them an even worse name. Jenee Fowler gives vapers a bad name by giving fellow passengers the impression that all people who smoke electronic cigarettes feel entitled to use their mods wherever they go, despite policies banning their use.
So please, if you choose to bring your vaporizer with you on your flight, keep it in your carry-on or checked baggage for the duration of the flight. Some airports may allow you to use your device while in the airport terminals, but make sure to check prior to vaping. In the event that the airport you’re in allows vaping, please be considerate to others. Refrain from blowing large clouds of vapor around other passengers, and make sure not to inadvertently get any vapor in the faces of innocent bystanders. If someone is looking at you funny, or asks what you are doing, politely inform them about the vaping movement. By telling them exactly what you are doing and how it is a great and safe alternative to smoking, they will know you’re not engaging in drug use or traditional cigarettes, which will put those around you at ease. Who knows, they may just learn a thing or two about vaping, and may even join the movement themselves!