Airline passengers are now prohibited from keeping electronic cigarettes (aka e-cigs) in checked baggage due to risks that the batteries or heating elements will catch fire.
According to The Star Online, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said that e-cig users are required to detach batteries from their vaping device to ensure the safety of other passenger on board.
MAHB implements the regulations after an incident where the vape battery that was kept inside a bag self-combust and injured a man as he placed the bag on his lap.
At the time, the aircraft had just taken off from Kota Kinabalu for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) and the man was watching a video from his display screen of the Boeing 737-800 aircraft seat. Though no fatalities were reported, the man sustained burns on the thighs and left hand.
However, Malindo Air did not lodge any complaints over the incident.
Through a Facebook post, MAHB said that the current International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations “do not allow e-cigarettes to be checked in as baggage”, but they can be hand-carried on board the aircraft.
Malaysia Airports has implemented an additional safety precaution, effective immediately, whereby passengers will be asked to detach the batteries from the equipment.
MAHB then added that they had referred the matter to the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) for their further advice.
Meanwhile, DCA also said in a statement yesterday that they are concerned with the incident where an e-cig battery caught fire on Malindo Air flight OD1003 as well. DCA director-general Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said an internal investigation was conducted on the matter.
As such, he outlined the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO Doc 9284) issued by the ICAO:
- Passengers and cabin crew are prohibited from carrying battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices including electronic cigarettes in checked baggage.
- Prohibits recharging of battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices in aircraft cabins.
- Batteries shall be removed from electronic smoking devices and be put in proper storage.
These instructions shall be complied with by the airline operators, crew and passengers so as to avoid similar incidents in future.
Charging of portable smoking devices in cabin is prohibited as well, according to the instructions for The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air. It was specifically written that batteries must be detached from the vaping devices to be put in proper storage.
What do you think of the new regulations? Do you think it’s better that way? Will it kill the vaping trend? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.