A group of Democratic senators called Tuesday for the Department of Transportation to end an "unacceptable" delay in implementing a ban on electronic cigarettes on airplanes.
The senators said Tuesday in a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx that the agency is two years behind schedule in finalizing rules that would ban the use of e-cigarettes during flights.
"While many major carriers have decided to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes, federal regulations still allow these products to be used during flight," the lawmakers wrote.
The letter was signed by Sens. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerAnother day, another dollar for retirement advice rip-offs Carly Fiorina 'certainly looking at' Virginia Senate run Top Obama adviser signs with Hollywood talent agency: report MORE (D-Calif), Dick DurbinDick DurbinThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch rewrites playbook for confirmation hearings Gorsuch: I'm 'sorry' for ruling against autistic student MORE (D-Ill.), Tom HarkinTom HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? MORE (D-Iowa), Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalSenators introduce new Iran sanctions Senators demand Pentagon action after nude photo scandal Gorsuch rewrites playbook for confirmation hearings MORE (D-Conn.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Senators war over Wall Street during hearing for Trump's SEC pick Sanders to oppose Gorsuch's nomination MORE (D-Ohio), Jack ReedJack ReedDems introduce MAR-A-LAGO Act to publish visitor logs Senators demand Pentagon action after nude photo scandal Mattis on defense budget boost: 'America can afford survival' MORE (D-R.I.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass).
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has banned airline passengers from smoking traditional cigarettes during flights since the late 1990's.
The lawmakers argued that e-cigarette makers were taking advantage of the agency's slow pace in applying a similar ban to electronic smoking devices.
"Numerous electronic cigarette companies have marketed their products as offering the freedom to break the rules or smoke in places where traditional cigarettes are banned, such as airplanes," they wrote.
The senators called for Foxx to quickly finalizing the rules ban e-cigarettes on flights.
"Please act immediately to finalize these rules, and respond with an exact date when regulations will be published and when electronic cigarettes will finally be banned on commercial flights," they wrote.
The Hill is checking with the transportation department for a response to the senators' letter.