In the Navy, sailors won’t be able to vape. The Navy announced Friday it would suspend the use of electronic cigarettes aboard its fleet by active personnel.
In a statement, Navy officials said the risk of exploding lithium-ion batteries in e-cigarettes played a role in the temporary ban. The new policy applies to sailors, Marines, Military Sealift Command civilians and other personnel working on Navy ships, submarines, aircraft and heavy equipment.
“Multiple sailors have suffered serious injuries from these devices, [including] first- and second-degree burns and facial disfigurement,” the press release said. “In these cases, injuries resulted from battery explosions during [e-cigarette] use, charging, replacement or inadvertent contact with a metal object while transporting.”
The Navy said e-cigarettes will officially be banned as of May 14, and the policy will continue until officials set a formal policy after a “thorough analysis.” While vaping is banned on Navy equipment, sailors will still be able to use e-cigarettes on base in designated smoking areas.
E-cigarettes have become an increasingly popular option for smokers who want an alternative to traditional cigarettes, but the devices recently have been subject to increasing oversight from regulators. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled last August vaping hardware would be treated like tobacco products and restricted to buyers 18 years of age and older.
In the past, the Navy has dealt with sporadic incidents involving e-cigarettes. The Hill reported the Naval Safety Center found 15 incidents of accidents involving e-cigarettes between October 2015 and June 2016.