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US Bans Use of Electronic Cigarettes on Flights

FILE - A smoker exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at the Vapor Spot, in Sacramento, California, in this July 7, 2015, photo.

Smokers in need of a nicotine fix during a flight to, from or within the United States might find themselves without relief as an electronic cigarette ban goes into effect next month.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that the rule is meant to protect "airline passengers from unwanted exposure to aerosol fumes that occur when electronic cigarettes are used on board airplanes.''

Passengers have long been banned from smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products on planes.

Airline passengers are allowed to carry e-cigarettes with them onto planes, but they are not allowed to pack them their checked luggage.

The checked baggage ban was put in place after instances in which e-cigarettes have set suitcases on fire. E-cigarettes are powered by lithium batteries, which can self-ignite if damaged, exposed to excessive temperatures or have a manufacturing defect.