Should E-Cigarettes be Banned as "Hazardous Materials" on Flights?

By Pranav Dixit on at

Not only will e-cigarettes affect your health if you smoke them too much, they are now under scrutiny for listing as a flight hazard. The New York Times reports that officials at Boston's Logan International Airport are asking the Transportation Department to consider classifying e-cigarettes as hazardous materials after a smouldering bag had to be removed from a Buffalo-bound jet.

A Massachusetts fire marshal thinks that a rechargeable lithium-ion battery in an e-cigarette in the bag was the cause of the fire, which had to be put out with a handheld extinguisher after evacuating all passengers on the aircraft. A spokeswoman for the fire marshal told the Times that "if a battery had been in the e-cigarette, it had the potential to cause a fire".

This makes sense, but the fact remains that lithium-ion batteries power virtually all of our modern devices — millions of which are carried on board flights all over the world. [The New York Times]