Very recently two Chinese pilots were sacked, their airline was fined and lost 10% of its routes. And all because of a harmless vape ecigarette.
One of the pilots had allegedly used an e cigarette in the cockpit.
And according to a report from BBC News: “The mid-air drama unfolded when one of the pilots, who was vaping, tried to turn off a fan to stop his smoke reaching the passenger cabin. Instead, he turned off the air-conditioning unit, causing a drop in the cabin's oxygen levels.”
When a plane’s oxygen levels drop, the plane must descend rapidly to make up for it. The Chinese plane dropped 20,000 feet in a matter of seconds and the oxygen masks sprang into action…
The passengers and the Aviation Authority were a little upset.
Where Can You Vape
Obviously this example is a little extreme. And vaping may be less harmful in terms of its context with smoking. But a little common sense as to where you should vape might have been applied. After all, the airline had banned smoking and vaping on its airline back in 2006.
UK airlines Easyjet and Ryanair have both banned ecigarettes on board. They can be carried in hand luggage however. One reason is the lack of hard information on the effects of second-hand vape, especially around children or expectant mothers.
And Ryanair’s policy is so strict that it reserves the right to refuse travel if a person has previously attempted to smoke or vape on a plane.
Most other airlines have similar bans.
More Vaping Bans
Vaping is also banned on most trains, and the ban has now extended to platforms too. The Underground has banned ecigarettes and bus companies have bans too.
While many transport systems have created a one size fits all policy for both vaping and smoking, the NHS approach is different.
As an active advocate of vaping, the NHS has separated vaping and smoking. There are no smoking policies in many hospitals, whereas vaping zones are being created in place of smoking areas.
Vaping policies in pubs is still very dependent on the individual establishment. But the majority of chains have banned vaping in their outlets.
In 2016 Public Health Enland created guidance around vaping rules.
Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director of health and wellbeing at PHE said:
“The evidence is clear that vaping is much less harmful than smoking and that e-cigarettes are helping many smokers to quit.
This new framework will encourage organisations to consider both the benefits and the risks when developing their own policies on e-cigarettes.
Different approaches will be appropriate in different places, but policies should take account of the evidence and clearly distinguish vaping from smoking.”