The U.S. Navy has banned the use of e-cigarettes on virtually all fleet assets, including ships, submarines, boats, aircraft and heavy equipment.
It not only applies to sailors, but marines, Military Sealift Command civilians and any personnel working on or visiting US Navy units.
These injuries have included first- and second-degree burns, as well facial disfigurement. The injuries have occurred when the devices were being used, charged or replaced, or when they came into inadvertent contact with metal objects, according to the Navy. However, sailors can still vape to the their hearts' and lungs' content while on base, as long as they do it in a designated smoking area; so much for vaping indoors.
The U.S. Navy said units deployed when the prohibition takes effect can request an extension on removal of the devices until their next port visit.
The close-calls have injured sailors, started fires and done other damage.
The policy is not permanent, and the Navy said it would conduct more analysis before making a final determination.
The Navy began considering the idea of a ban back in August 2016 after the Naval Safety Center wrote a memo listing various concerns about exploding batteries. Eight of those incidents happened aboard vessels or aircraft, and two involved e-cigarettes exploding while actually in the mouths of sailors.
The lithium-ion batteries of some e-cigarettes, it turns out, have been known to explode. One received first-degree burns, while the other's vehicle was destroyed by the fire.
E-cigarettes are often relied upon by those who are trying to give up smoking and find it a more viable alternative to other methods like nicotine patches or gums.
USA sailors will soon have to hand over their e-cigs before boarding their ships. Some people use e-cigarettes as part of an effort to wean themselves off cigarettes.
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