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E-Cigarettes on a Plane, and Outrage Among the Lawyers

Is this man’s heated vapor bothering you? E-cig smoker gets rowdy on Southwest Airlines.

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Breaking new ground for e-smokers. Or not.
Photo via tobaccocampaign

By Kirwan Gray

07/20/11

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Let the court records show that Pogos Paul Sefilian brought out an electronic cigarette and began to smoke it on board the airplane. After flight attendants asked him repeatedly to put it out, the irate passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City argued loudly with crewmembers, and pelted them with peanuts and pretzels after they told him that electronic cigarettes were not allowed enroute, says CNN. It’s funny, but it has its serious side. Increasingly, electronic cigarettes are breaching the no-smoking barriers—or trying to. In a stirring defense of Sefilian’s right to superheat nicotine vapor on a commercial flight—Sefilian was met by FBI agents and detained upon landing—South Beach Smoke, a leading U.S. electronic cigarette company, expressed outrage over Sefilian’s treatment: “We at South Beach Smoke believe in the reasonable regulation of electronic cigarettes to the extent that they are not sold to minors and are held to the same safety standards all products should; but not letting people use them on planes, restaurants, or other popular indoor facilities is simply overreaching regulation… we understand why he decided to take a stand against this baseless airline regulation.” Attorneys are at work as you read this.

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