Navy bans vaping aboard ships, aircraft

Navy bans vaping aboard ships, aircraft
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The Navy has banned vaping throughout its fleet after multiple explosions caused by overheating batteries, it announced Friday.

“The fleet commanders implemented this policy to protect the safety and welfare of sailors and to protect the ships, submarines, aircraft and equipment,” a press release said.

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“Multiple sailors have suffered serious injuries from these devices, to include first- and second-degree burns and facial disfigurement.”

The ban covers the use, possession, storage and charging of e-cigarettes aboard ships, submarines, aircraft, boats, craft and heavy equipment.

It applies to sailors, Marines, Military Sealift Command civilians and any personnel working on or visiting those units.

The ban goes into effect May 14 and will last “until a final determination can be made following a thorough analysis,” the release said.

Deployed units can ask for an extension to keep their e-cigarettes until their next port visit, but supervisors have to make sure the batteries are removed and stored in plastic non-conductive container.

Sailors in bases on shore will still be allowed to vape in designated smoking areas, the release noted.

Between October 2015 and June 2016, there were 15 incidents involving e-cigarettes that injured sailors, started fires or damaged material, according to the Naval Safety Center.

In two of the incidents, the device was in the sailor’s mouth at the time, causing facial and dental injuries.