The Navy Bans Vaping on All Ships and Planes

Sailors at sea or in the air need to find a new way to use nicotine


The U.S. Navy is banning vaping on its ships, submarines and aircraft. The rule will apply to anyone working on or visiting a Navy vessel, whether they are military members of not.

The policy will take effect on May 14, 30 days after the announcement. Banned devices must be removed from ships and planes by that date, though deployed personnel can ask for permission to wait till their next visit to port.

“This new policy is in response to continued reports of explosions of ENDS [electronic nicotine delivery devices] due to the overheating of lithium-ion batteries,” a press release quoted by the Navy Times said. “Multiple sailors have suffered serious injuries from these devices, to include first- and second-degree burns and facial disfigurement.

The move follows a recommendation from the Naval Safety Center last year.

“In these cases, injuries resulted from battery explosions during ENDS use, charging, replacement, or inadvertent contact with a metal object while transporting.”

The Navy is calling the ban a “suspension,” and claims to be further reviewing the situation. The military branch says there have been 31 injuries caused by exploding batteries since October 2015. The Times said that many of the injuries occurred while the devices were in a service member’s pocket, which suggests that those accidents were caused by sailors carrying spare batteries loose with change or keys.

The move follows a recommendation from the Naval Safety Center last year. As we reported last August, the Safety Center claimed that while laptops use the same batteries, “extensive testing has shown that they don’t tend to explode when they fail.” Or maybe they Naval brass just doesn’t like vaping.

Jim McDonald

I spend most of my time studying the regulatory, legislative and scientific challenges to vaping, advocating for our right to exist, and talking with others who do the same. Consider me a source for information, and feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say. I love good coffee and sweet Michigan cherries. My childhood hero was Gordie Howe.