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Smoking Your E-Cigarette On an Airplane

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smoking sign on airplane

What About Vaping?

Those who have discovered the benefits of electronic cigarette smoking or “vaping”, are boldly going where no smoker has gone before. They’re vaping in restaurants, bars and even airports.

My popular article, “How to Smoke Your Electronic Cigarette in Public”, has given many e-smokers the courage and ammunition to do so; however, smoking on airplanes is still a very sticky issue. 

This article is updated regularly and reports findings gathered from major airlines and the FAA, as to current policies regarding vaping onboard, or carrying electronic cigarettes and liquids onboard a commercial airline.  This article also includes helpful information gathered from e-cigarette vapers who have dared to smoke their e-cigarette on a flight. 

The Rules of the Game

According to FAA regulations, smoking a lighted cigarette or anything that produces smoke or flame is prohibited onboard most commercial aircrafts; however, the FAA has not as yet (June 2015) issued a regulation for or against vaping electronic cigarettes on a plane, leaving that decision up to the individual airlines. 

 

Flight Attendant -Cloud Nine

Flight Attendants Rule

Officially, no airline openly permits vaping; however, it is NOT illegal on most airlines – it is only against company policy. There is a debatable difference between something “prohibited” and an “illegal” act. “Prohibited” usually means the act is not allowed; it’s against the rules. Doing something that is “illegal” can be considered a felony.

Company policy (and the definition of the “rules”) is enforced by your friendly (or not so friendly) flight crew and airline authorities. That means getting caught can vary between a slap on the wrist and getting slapped in jail. (Vapers on QatarAirways have reported the latter.) 

When I first published this article in 2013 I found only three airlines – Japan airlines, Airtran and KLM who actually addressed the e-cigarette issue directly on their websites. Here’s what KLM had to say

“All KLM flights are non-smoking flights. Smoking is not permitted at any place or at any time on board our aircraft. This also applies to artificial cigarettes”.

Funny that they chose to use the word “artificial” rather than “electronic”.

Airtran said –

“In addition to smoking, the use of chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes are not permitted onboard any scheduled or private charter AirTran Airways flight.”

I was relieved that the fat guy sitting next to me on my next flight to Miami wasn’t going to spit tobacco into his cocktail napkin.

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Japan Airlines posts this disclaimer on their site –

“Smoking is strictly prohibited through out the cabin including restrooms. The use of smoking devices without ignition such as “E-cigarette” is also prohibited as it may interrupt other passengers’ comfort or it may cause the misunderstanding among other passengers. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.”

Unfortunately it is this “misunderstanding ” that stops some airlines from allowing e-cigarette use, not any FAA regulation.

Calling the Airlines Directly

Since few people back then knew anything about e-cigarettes, most airline websites did not address the issue. I called all the major airlines to inquire about their policy on the use of electronic cigarettes. True, I grew a few underarm cobwebs in the process, but my readers are worth such minor inconveniences. 

Times have changed. In 2015 is was reported that there are now over 60 million vapers around the world and the public as well as airline officials are cracking down on vapers. Since flight attendants cannot easily distinguish between vapor from an ecig and a cabin fire, all major airlines have expanded their no-smoking policies to include in-flight vaping.

I fondly remember the day when airline representatives put me on hold so the agent could check with another employee about the airline’s e-cigarette policies. The word vaping had not yet made it to the dictionary.

Ask a Flight Attendant - Cloud Nine

It IS legal to bring your electronic cigarettes on-board! 

Some people have been stopped by security trying to bring their e-cigarette liquid on-board. They must have either forgotten the 3oz bottle rule or their zip-lock bag was jumbo rather than quart sized. In any case, all liquids must be carried on according to airlines regulations. When I travel, I prefer taking one of my e-cig look-alikes or disposable e-cigarettes.  Green Smoke V2 cigs , and practically all those listed on our e-cigarette comparison chart offer them. You don’t have to re-fill your cartomizer with liquids that may get confiscated at airports.

More recently, airlines have advised NOT to put lithium batteries in your “checked-in” suitcase so carry your e-cigarettes in your carry-on luggage!

Be Cool

If you are a fearless daredevil and want to risk getting caught you had better keep a very low profile. I do know vapers who have successfully used the product on-board airlines but there have now been cases reported where vaping passengers were turned over to authorities at the destination airport. Luckily they got off with a warning. The police (or other authorities) get to decide if they’d like to charge you. Some countries are more tolerant of vapers; others, like Australia, are outright anti-vaping.

For Those Who Want to Flaunt Their ECigarettes

Since you can carry your ecig in your hand luggage, there’s no law that says you can’t flaunt it…as long as you don’t produce vapor. 


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1 – Educate your Neighbor

Show your designer e-cigarette to your seat mate and tell them about the merits of ecigs and why it’s nothing like a cigarette. After all it has no flame, no ash and no smell. Usually people are more intrigued than annoyed. They will of course, want to see how it works, but save your demonstration for later. In case you were wondering,  Green Smoke, V2 Cigs, Vapor Couture and Premium Vapes, all offer e-cigarettes in designer colors and designs so your cigarette doesn’t look real…just pretty! 

Don’t flaunt your massive MOD e-cigarette on a plane. You don’t want to scare granny; and anyway, the metal or visible e-juice won’t get through security. 

2- Stay Educated and share the knowledge

Another good way to reduce passenger fears and misconceptions about e-cigarettes is to know about the latest findings. Many people are fearful of second hand vapor, but studies now show that it’s poses no apparent risk to human health. Read this report on second-hand vapor. 

 

3- Business or First Class Preferences?
There was a time, not long ago that if you were seated in business or first class, particularly on a long flight, your chances were a better at obtaining permission to use your e-cigarette, but it’s getting more difficult. I’ve only been successful if there were one or two others in the first class cabin.

If You Like Extreme Risk, There Are Other Ways to Vape on a Plane

Katy Perry - Cloud Nine

Proper attire for vaping on a plane. 10 points for guessing who this is. (comment below)

4- Keep A Low Profile

You can choose to be more secretive. Sit in a window seat and face the window. Cover the e-cigarette with your hand. Hold the vapor for 8-10 seconds before exhaling. (This will lessen the amount of vapor exhaled). Do NOT let your vapor rise above your seat… or simply exhale into a napkin, or up your sleeve. 

5- Go to the Bathroom

airplane lavatory door

Do you dare to vape?

Many people have smoked their electronic cigarette in the lavatory, although it is against airline policy. Most smoke detectors are not yet Optical Based, (meaning they are extremely sensitive to water vapor smoke). I have recently learned of an incident where the alarm did go off on Emirates Airlines. I suspect the user was vaping a very impressive vaporizer that produced massive clouds. I do not recommend it. Neither would I blow the vapor into the detector.

What’s That Smell?

 

E-cigarette vapor does disappear within seconds, but with the excellent new e-juices on the market, eliquid aromas are getting much more noticeable. Even if the smoke alarm doesn’t go off, the flight attendant will not be impressed by the lovely waft of chocolate when you leave the restroom. 

The One Airline That Says “Yes”…. with a catch.

Ryanair flight attendants

Ryanair flight attendants. They look friendly enough.

Ryanair, the Irish airline that “conquered” the European market with its amazing low fares, is the one airline that permits the use of electronic cigarettes, but there’s a catch – they are Ryanair’s version of the e-cigarette and you have to purchase them on-board.

In 2009 the airline started offering passengers over the age of 18, disposable “smokeless cigarettes” for about $8.75 (€6) for a pack of ten. According to Ryanair company spokesman, Stephen McNamara, when smokers can get their nicotine, everybody wins. McNamara concludes,

“As these cigarettes are smokeless, they cause no discomfort to other passengers and can ensure a more enjoyable and stress-free flight for all passengers as non-smokers will no longer have to cope with moody smokers in need of nicotine.” 

Note : The Ryanair website does not mention e-cigarettes specifically. E-cigarettes are not on the list of their permitted electronic items. In trying to get an update on their smoking policy I discovered that the only telephone number available is their direct line to Ireland, which in my case would be an international call.  The website does not offer a Customer Service e-mail either.

The bottom line is that most airlines disallow all cigarettes, including the smokeless and electronic ones. Unfortunately the reason for this is not because they believe electronic cigarettes pose a danger to flight systems, but simply because they produce a vapor and that may alarm passengers and flight attendants are too busy serving pretzels to distinguish between ecig vapor and an electrical fire. 

The Future of Airline Policy and Vaping

Awareness of the true nature of the product and its benefits, including the benign impact on the environment is the only way this policy will change to favor vapers.  

As this remarkable product becomes mainstream; as more tests prove that second-hand vapor is harmless, as more scientists submit tests that ecigs are safe to vape and as sales and positive press continues to grow, airlines may become more positive and proactive regarding the acceptance of these new devices.  Airline competition is certainly on the increase and there is a whole new market of e-cigarette smokers out there.

Until then, vaping on planes comes with the risk of being turned over to authorities when you land, plus (according to recent comments from vapers) being subject to fines and future travel restrictions. 

If you have successfully (or unsuccessfully) used an electronic cigarette in flight, we’d love to hear about it, so feel free to leave a comment below.  

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is for general information and discussion purposes only. The information is provided by cloudnineecigreviews.com and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

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About the author

Hillary

Hillary Miles, Cloud Nine’s editor and contributing author is an Emmy award-winning national television writer, producer and marketing expert whose clients have included HGTV, The Food Network, CNN, TBS, TNT and The Cartoon Network.

She is the editor for Cloud NineSavvy ExaminerBest E-Cigarette Guide and ECigarette News . A talented artist, Hillary also creates uber cool ecig t-shirts for Vaper Design Studio.

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  1. Busted

    I was on a flight from a major US city to a smaller one and I went to the bathroom in the small regional jet I was in. It was a major airline flight operated by a regional airline. I am a cargo pilot and regularly vape in my planes, as do many of the other pilots. Needless to say it doesn’t set off our smoke alarms. I also am forced to fly commercial quite a bit and I’ve never had a problem either vaping discretely in my seat or going to the lav and keeping it low. In this instance I got careless after a long, tiring day. When I finished and went back to my seat there was a quiet beeping up front and the flight attendant asked me if I smelled smoke when I was in the lav. (Small plane, she saw me come out.) I said “no” because I didn’t and I wasn’t positive I was the problem. So she went back to investigate. Obviously smoke alarms in flight are serious and the pilots were considering diverting to a nearby airport. (In my professional opinion, this was a rash course of action. The captain seemed to me to be a little too “by the book” but that’s neither here nor there.) The attendant came back and asked more sternly if I’d been smoking in the lav. I realized the alarm wasn’t going away and I also realized if it didn’t go away the captain would be forced to divert — so I admitted to vaping and when she said it’s not allowed I was apologetic. We landed and I pretty much knew I’d be meeting someone on the jetway. Who I’d meet I didn’t know. It was a local police officer who wrote down my name and address on a notepad. The captain came out and also got my information to submit a company report. I was polite but quiet, neither offering an explanation or apology. It’s my understanding that vaping on commercial aircraft is still not technically illegal in the eyes of the FAA, but I “probably” (definitely) set off the smoke alarm, which is a problem. Anyway, the pilot was high strung and mentioned that he was “1 second” from diverting our flight. Again, I think this was overkill, I did admit to vaping to help alleviate concerns that there really was a fire. As the Captain discussed with the police, his First Officer, who is young and probably a vaper himself, mouthed from behind him “I’m sorry, bro!” If the pilot had diverted I may have been in serious trouble, FBI, FAA, etc. I’m still not positive I won’t get a fine from the airline or a letter from the FAA in the mail. Although the officer told the pilot (who clearly wanted me arrested or ticketed) that she had no jurisdiction. At this point, I don’t know what can be proven? I did admit to the flight attendant that I vaped in the bathroom, so a fine is possible. The officer made it seem as though this was fairly routine and typically they come down to scare the passenger, sometimes to bar them from boarding any connecting flights. I’m still a bit nervous of future repercussions but reading this thread helped to ease my mind a bit, if nothing else. Hopefully this story will help people with similar problems.

    1. Hillary

      Thanks Adam and Busted (comment below) for sharing your experiences. This type of information is invaluable, not only to vapers who travel on airplanes, but to the entire vaping community and ecig advocates everywhere.

      Cloud Nine makes every effort to keep the information in this post up to date, but rules and regulations regarding e-cigarettes can change faster than a smoker choosing tobacco for ecigs.

      A while back I recommended checking with your airline to learn their policy on vaping, but that effort now seems like a waste of time. Perhaps one should ask “will you fine me and/or throw me in jail if I vape in the bathroom?”

      I have yet to find a written statement that explains what penalties will be enforced if the “rules” are broken.

      The FAA only has policies regarding the packing of e-cigarette batteries (they should be in your carry on luggage), but to date, the agency still only “recommends” that airlines have on-board vaping restrictions. It seems unlikely that the FAA would have the power to penalize or directly fine passengers….but that’s a question for an attorney and I’m just a reporter.

      As the benign effects of vaping become more mainstream, vapers can only hope airline policies will change. Proactive vapers can join, follow and support organizations such as CASAA,The Vaping Militia, and
      NotBlowingSmoke to mention only a few.

  2. Adam

    I was flying on Frontier from Denver to San Diego in July. I got up to use the restroom and mid-stream, took a puff from my vape (almost absentmindedly). After the one puff, the alarm went off and there was violent banging on the door. I opened the door to furious flight attendants who insisted that I was smoking. I showed them my eCig and they took it to the cabin. Unfortunately for me, there was an FAA agent on the flight. He came to my seat and escorted me to the back of the plane where he asked me some questions and then returned my eCig. After the flight, I was escorted off the plane by three uniformed officers who again asked me questions in the terminal. After they questioned me, they let me go. Next, a Frontier rep pulled me aside and told me that my return flight was cancelled and that I was henceforth blacklisted from flying Frontier in the future. I was not refunded the ticket cost. I was able to book another flight home.All in all, it was a terrible experience and I would STRONGLY recommend that you don’t vape on planes.
    I was told by the FAA rep that I could get a fine in the mail. I was wondering about this since the above post said that it’s not technically illegal. I did neither smoke in the lavatory nor tamper with the smoke detector. Up until today, I hadn’t received anything. However, today, I got something from my local post office saying that they tried to deliver a certified letter from the FAA when I was at work. So, I’m guessing a fine is in the mail.
    Should I seek legal counsel?

  3. Hillary

    Hi RD,

    Thanks for your report and I’m sorry you had to to endure the consequences of getting caught.

    It seems some airlines are installing new smoke detectors that use optics that “see” the vapor and subsequently go off. I’m sure your experience will make us all think twice about vaping on flights, although I do hope the FAA (and the world) will come to it’s senses one day and realize that ecig vapor is harmless and not created by combustion. As for the smell..I think airlines should ban the use of perfumes and colognes on flights.

  4. RD

    Hey everyone. I snuck a puff of my e-cig in the bathroom of my Spirit flight. The amount of vaper was quite low, as I’m always conscious not to leave massive clouds in my wake while in public. Nonetheless, an alarm flashed and the cabin crew swooped in, accusing me of smoking a tobacco cigarette in the bathroom. I denied it, and also denied vaping, as I had a feeling from the alarm that it was against the carrier’s policy, and also wasn’t sure if the FAA had issued new regulations. This most definitely pissed them off. Police escorted me off the plane and out of the terminal once we landed, in front of all the other passengers. An FAA agent wrote down my information and informed me I would receive something in the mail. And Spirit blacklisted me from their airline, forcing me to spend an additional $180 to secure a flight to my final destination with another airline. So, if I were to give advice, I would say definitely do not try and vape on a Spirit flight – some of their airlines obviously have special detectors – and if you do get caught, you should probably play dumb and just admit you have an e-cig so as to avoid unnecessarily pissing off the cabin crew.

  5. Adrian Salaices

    I have successfully used my E-Cig on American Airlines and Southwest Airlines.
    In those two occasions I stealth vaped Meaning “I inhaled and kept the vape in my lungs for about 8 – 10 secs” this revealed no visible vapor.
    I was in fact caught 1 time near the bathroom with the e-cig in my mouth and the flight attendant issued a stern warning.
    but when I said “You will not see vapor or odor come out of my mouth” she smiled.
    I also mentioned that until the FAA issues a LEGAL warning and I see it in writing I will not comply .. that got her a bit upset but I said it in a very political manner and said that I would put it away if she produced written rules.
    She obviously did not and I kept stealth vaping Inconspicuously the rest of the flight.

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  7. vaporer

    Polak is right.

    Problem: The pressure difference pushes your liquid out.

    Explanation: If you didn’t listen in physics at school, let me explain this. Pressure has no effect on liquids, they are incompressible. Forever, gas, such as air, changes volume depending on the pressure. If you image your eCig tank as having liquids at the bottom, air at the top and the hole towards the coil at the bottom, you can easily understand that when the pressure lowers (outside the eCig), the air wants more space (in the tank) and will pressure the liquids towards the “exit”, thus resulting in a leak. This will only happen during the climbing phase of the flight. During the descend, air will be push in the tank.

    Solutions:

    1) Have no air at all in the tank. Depending on how your eCig is built is can be difficult to achieve. But if you think you can do it, it will work.

    2) Empty your eCig before climb. That’s the safest solution. Once you’ve reached the cruising altitude your can fill your tank.

    Tips: always carry some tissues with you, just in case 😉

    1. Hillary

      Hi Vaporer,

      Thanks for the good advice! Question..was there are previous comment by “Polak” on air pressure issues?

  8. Robert Cooper

    Delta attempted to have me arrested for smoking an eRoll vape in the lav. On 3/11/15, on a flight from Atlanta to San Francisco I went to the lav to take a few hits off of my eRoll vape. After ONE puff it activated the smoke alarm. The flight attendant knocked and asked if I was smoking, to which I said no. I returned to my seat and after some time the flight attendant came by and said that smoking in the lav was a serious Federal crime. My wife said “it was a vape.” “It doesn’t matter,” said the flight attendant. Later she handed me a message from the captain that said that the San Francisco police would be meeting me upon arrival. I had two stressful, panicked hours to prepare for my fate, during which time I texted my corporate attorney and two friends via wi-fi in order to prepare myself and my inevitable incarceration. After landing an announcement was made for all passengers to remain seated, except for myself and my wife who were instructed to depart whilst the police were visibly present at the front of the plane. Six police officers escorted us to a vacant area at the gate to discuss the matter with us. They then informed me that it was not per se illegal, but rather just a Delta rule violation, so they let me go. A red-jacketed Delta agent then told me that they would allow me to fly the return leg of my trip as long as I agreed not to vape again. Yesterday, 3/16/15, after returning from my trip I filed a Delta complaint online, followed by an email complaint to the Delta CEO. The email has been responded to by his executive assistant, but she has indicated that they need some time to investigate the matter. It would be nice if Delta would warn its customers that if they vape then they will do everything they can to ruin their life.

  9. Sophia

    And in addition to my previous post, to all of you who say you have “lung issues” and vapor irritates it … It’s all in your head. Do you even realize how much crap is in the air that you breathe even without tobacco cigarettes or vapor cigarettes? Fumes from cars, trains, buses, trucks, factories. Come on now. People need to get over it. Either that or just stay locked in your house all day. Ha

  10. Sophia

    I recently traveled to Florida on Spirit Airlinea. The flight attendant saw me get up to go to the bathroom and I had my vapor pen in my hand. She looked at me and told me to put it away. I hadn’t even smoked it (I was smoking in the bathroom haha). So I hid it in my sweatshirt and went to the bathroom. Thankfully the smoke alarm doesn’t go off! But I just think its weird that people get so freaked out at electronic cigarettes. I get that it has the potential to be annoying, but so is someone coughing without covering their mouth or a screaming two year old.

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  13. polak

    Vaped in the lavatory on LOT polish airlines and hungarian WizzAir without any issues.
    Even blow the vapor straight on to detector to check.No problems at all.make sure you don’t fill your e cigarette with liquid before flight due to cabin pressure when take off and landing causing leak.refill it when you 20 min after take off.Can’t wait for my next flight.Regards

    1. Hillary

      Thanks polak! Good advice regarding filling up prior to take off.

      I am surprised the alarm didn’t go off in the lavatory. The sensors can detect a vapor if it’s a lot. I know this because I attended a vaping convention and there was soooo much vapor in the air the fire alarms went off. Everyone had to stop vaping for 45 minutes so they could do a reset and make note to ignore the vapor in future.

  14. Ashley

    Victoria Beckham or Kristen Stewart but too close to Victoria Beckham

    1. Hillary

      Close, but not either of them :)

  15. Ex smoker and vaper

    If you want to learn the truth about the medical consequences of ecigs please read the Journal Of Circulation from a month or 2 ago. This was a well referenced and refereed article. The facts. Not the crap the companies that own them are publishing. For the record if you vap up next to me the flight attendant will be called. And nicotine residences are being found on clothes, furniture etc after vaping.

    1. Hillary

      Ex smoker and vaper,

      We always welcome comments on e-cigarette safety.

      You have cited an article from the American Heart Association co-authored by the notorious Stanton Glantz. The AMA does not support e-cigarettes because they consider them to be a tobacco product, (which they are not). They have a political agenda to end all tobacco products including Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). They also have good reason to fear a commercial product that has achieved in 1 year, what the medical and political community failed to do in ten years.

      As for Glantz, his tests on e-cig vapor have been exposed as being pure junk science. I invite others who know of his nefarious reputation to comment.

      Hillary
      Editor

  16. Paul

    Your welcome, the “unlocked bathroom door” comment was given to me tongue in cheek, my understanding was he can’t report and passengers can’t complain about what they can’t see. I found the comment from the “pilot” about how he would react or expect the cabin crew to respond to someone vaping on “his” plane rather amusing, a four seat section at the end of the first class cabin I was in was curtained off for crew rest area, I had the seen a pilot leaving the cockpit to retire to his rest area where we sat, curtains drawn but for a small crack where I saw him enjoy his e-cig undisturbed. I know that national, international and independent airlines and authorities will one day accept that they cannot stop this safe practice, and will prove that it is not a danger to the plane, passengers or the environment we are sitting in and allow it, perhaps offering naysayers the option at check in to be seated window or aisle, then vaping or non vaping ;)…Common sense will prevail, but alas these days it seems to take longer and longer to enlighten the minority who rule over such things. Till then I will continue to Vape freely albeit pseudo-illegally 😉

  17. PNN Online

    Probably that was Victoria Beckham

  18. Paul

    I have been using my MOD vape on flights for a year now, and on the two occasions that I have been “seen” by flight attendants one told me at the end of the 14 hour flight that I should know that e-cigs are not permitted on any flights (she spotted me at the begining of the flight taking it out my carry on, so kudos to her I am guessing she is a smoker) the second time I was asked not to use it as it may upset my fellow passengers, I asked if I was to use it only in the bathroom would this be a problem, he said only if I didn’t lock the door. I fly reguarly to africa and the middle east and occasionaly to the UK, all from USA, and if I happen to be in economy (rarely) I will restrict my use to the bathroom until the lights go out then I will conceal my use with a blanket. As I only vape on long haul flights most of the fellow travellers are sleeping while I vape in peace. I have spoken to passengers whome are seated close by me throughout a flight if at any time during the flight did my “vaping” cause them concern, all have responded with no, and most with umm what do you mean, I show them and explain it and they are usually dumfounded that someone sitting within 5 feet of them has been “smoking” as they where blissfully unaware. So Vape it up folks, if they can brew coffee then you can vape in my opinion and for the record no one has yet to proclaim to me that ” I HAVE HAD IT WITH THESE MOTHERF%$(NG VAPES ON THIS MOTHERF%^(NG PLANE!!”

    Paul :)

    1. Hillary

      Well said Paul! Thanks for leaving such a helpful comment. I’ve never heard about leaving the door unlocked while vaping in the bathroom, but then you had an understanding (and realistic) flight attendant.:) It also confirms that vapor won’t set off a smoke alarm. Leaving the door unlocked just gives the attendants the option to get to you should you actually be smoking a cigarette.

      Hillary,
      Editor

  19. NAEB.org

    Hahaha..I bet that was Victoria Beckham. :)

  20. Chris H.

    Thanks for your comment, Yeah right and for pointing out that the FDA is now reviewing scientific data about ecig safety. Unfortunately the public has not, and has been bombarded with more fear mongering than solid information about tobacco harm reduction.

    As for profits, it’s little ecig companies against big pharma. Big tobacco has come onboard because they see the future, but there is much debate about whether they will destroy the industry in doing so.

    Will e-cigarettes ever been deemed 100 safe? Perhaps not. Will caffeine? (which is now believed to be as dangerous as nicotine). Will pesticide usage? Will the germ laden air on airplanes? Our view is that the anti-ecig groups are recognizing the fact that people are giving up tobacco for an alternative that they perceive be less harmful. Anti tobacco harm reduction (THC) groups don’t like it because they see a commercial product that has achieved in 1 year, what the medical and political community failed to do in ten years.

    As for the small amount of nicotine in e-cigarette vapor that may worry passengers in planes, we’ll have to wait to see if it’s more worrisome than caffeine vapor from hot coffee. I also understand people may not want to smell vanilla or chocolate, but most find those aromas more pleasant than cheap cologne, or microwaved Hawaiian chicken.

  21. Yeah right

    @ chris h

    It has not been proven that there is no danger from second hand vapor, that is something that may take a while to confirm.

    http://www.hngn.com/articles/35542/20140708/fda-funds-several-research-projects-to-determine-real-e-cigarette-risks.htm

    Lets not forget that traditional cigarettes, for many decades, were actually thought to be good for you and were even recommended by doctors.

    People who profit from the tobacco and pharm. industry???

    E cigs made a profit of one billion dollars last year in the USA alone. Something the Big three tobacco companies are already investing in, either by making their own, or swallowing up smaller manufacturers. Every maker of e cigarettes will tell you that they are safe for everyone because they all want a taste of that profit.

    There is a small amount of nicotine in the vapor from e cigs. And whatever view you have, whether it is harmful or not, is beside the point. Most People do not want nicotine floating about them, especially in a closed atmosphere such as a plane. As for the odour, some people don’t like the smell of vanilla or chocolate.

  22. Chris H.

    @CathyB – You should be grateful if your nephew has gone from 2 packs of cigarettes to e-cigarettes. It’s a known fact that ecigs save lives which is really what they are about. It’s also been proven by several highly reputable scientists that there is NO danger in second hand smoke. The FDA is now aware of this as they are reviewing the true scientific evidence about e-cigarette safety and their potential to save millions of lives. The truth will soon overshadow the lies being spread to the press by those who profit from the tobacco and pharmaceutical industry. The world should be cheering ecigs, not condemning them as there is finally an effective product that helps people get off killer tobacco.

    As for vaping on planes, there are tons of articles out there (and on this website) that talk about ecig ingredients and the smell of the water vapor. There is NO tobacco in ecigarettes. There may be some nicotine, but that has no odor. The smell all depends on the FDA approved food flavorings in the eliquid. Frankly I would much rather smell vanilla or chocolate than the nauseating aroma of cologne or perfume coming off another passenger. Airlines should ban that!

    I do understand your indignation that vapers may be using the bathroom for something other than doing “toileting”. If airlines would permit vaping zones that would easily solve that problem.

  23. CathyB

    I don’t agree with e-cigarettes being smoked on planes, what about other people around them? The smell from these devices smell like cigarettes (according to my sister in law – whose son smokes 2 packs a day), and they cause me considerable discomfort, having had a serious lung condition and now diagnosed with chronic bronchitis. How many other people have heart and/or lung conditions may be travelling on the same plane? Of course you can’t answer that one can you? And another thing, why hog the rest room when other people may actually want to use it for the purpose it is for? Some people I know have bowel and bladder conditions and may want the toilet, unfortunately they can’t get there because selfish smokers are giving into their addiction and hogging it!

  24. Johnf340

    I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thank you again!

    1. Gary D

      You are welcome!

  25. E Dewar

    Where does it say she has fallen to your level by arrogantly breaking airline rules?

  26. E Dewar

    “mysterious hooded airplane vaper in the photo”

    Its Katy Perry and she is covering herself to try and avoid the hassle of being a Celeb’ walking through an airport.

    She is NOT a sneaky, underhand deceitful vaper that you can pretend is on your side.

    1. Hillary

      Hi E,

      Yes you guessed it! It’s Katy Perry one of our favorite celebrity vapers. Sorry to disappoint you but she’s on our side. http://ecigarettenews.net/?p=2177

  27. Hillary

    Hi Chris – She does look like Kristen Stewart! But, no.. it’s not Ms. Stewart.

  28. Chris

    Kristen Stewart

  29. Hillary

    Hi mnz – If your comment refers to the identity of the mysterious hooded airplane vaper in the photo, I’m sorry to say it is not Victoria Beckham, but since you are the first to even venture a guess,.. i’ll give you 8 points! :)

    Happy vaping!

    Hillary

  30. mnz

    Victoria Beckham

  31. Paul Mckenna

    Hillary.

    This is a site that promotes “Electronic” cigarettes.
    The title of your article is “Smoking Your “Electronic”-Cigarette On an Airplane.
    The header on the Ryanair paragraph is “The One Airline That Says “Yes”…. with a catch” with you writing

    Ryanair, the Irish airline that “conquered” the European market with its amazing low fares, is the one airline “that permits the use of Electronic cigarettes”, but there’s a catch – they are Ryanair’s version of the “Electronic”-cigarette and you have to purchase them on-board.

    I wasn’t “led to believe” anything.
    Having already mentioned Stephen McNamara as saying their product was smokeless, why would you repeat it and assume I was confused?

  32. CathyB

    I think it is disgusting that people bypass the regulations to “smoke” their e-cigarettes on a plane. Why can’t you just go without for the journey instead of poisoning other people. I had the misfortune to be in a restaurant on New Years Day with family and we could smell and see the “smoke” or vapour for quite a way. I suffered for the entire meal and was unwell for the next 2 days as a result. I have damaged lungs from blood clots and have had a cough for 2 years, and smoke or vapour makes it worse, and I am danger of further blood clots in my lungs due to this.

  33. Paul Mckenna

    Well done for mis representing Stephen McNamara’s quote from the Ryanair website, in the comments section.
    When he says “These cigarettes are smokeless” he is talking about non electronic inhalators, not the electronic ones being promoted here. Inhalators that we in the UK can get for free from the N.H.S. but a product that Ryanair sell for a nice profit. They do not allow any form of “electronic” cigarette on board their planes.
    Ryanair are not the pioneers of the e cigarette that you would like them to be, but a business only interested in how to make a quick buck.

    “If attendants are somehow placed in jeopardy, so be it.”

    Self interest before peoples jobs?

    Nice.

    1. Hillary

      Paul,
      Ryanair’s president Stephen McNamara still maintains the nicotine cigarette-like products sold onboard are “smokeless”. It is my error if by quoting him in a recent comment, I led you to believe the devices were “electronic”. They are not. They are called “Similar Smokeless Cigarettes”. McNamara’s statements may be found here: http://www.ryanair.com/en/news/ryanair-to-allow-passengers-to-smoke-onboard.

      That said, I hardly consider Ryanair Airlines to be “pioneers of the e cigarette”. Even if their on-board nicotine inhalers are inferior to most commercially sold e-cigarettes,(and I did imply tha they are), I applaud the airline for making an effort to help alleviate the nicotine cravings of some passengers. If they’re making a buck in the process…so be it.

  34. Eric Manktelow

    Just use your common sense and you can vape pretty much anywhere.
    If you start clouding up the place on a plane you are asking for trouble!
    Take something small and easily concealable, be discrete and make sure no one is looking at you.
    Hold the vapour in for a few seconds so you don’t exhale any visible vapour.
    No harm no foul.

    1. Hillary

      Eric,
      Smart advice! One thing that I’ve been having to deal with is that vapor in ecigs is becoming more voluminous! I just take smaller puffs :)

      Thanks for leaving a comment!

  35. Gameinformer

    Magnificent website. Lots of useful information here.
    I’m sending it to several pals ans also sharing in delicious.
    And certainly, thanks for your effort!

  36. paul

    Prior to them becoming popular I used electronic cigarettes on a number of British Airways flights and the staff were always cool about it.

    Recently on a trip to Florida on the way there sitting in coach not a problem, coming back in business class I was told they were not allowed and told to stop using it.

    As the article says best bet is to be covert about using them, but if caught you may be asked to stop.

    1. Hillary

      Thanks for sharing your experience! Love those Brits :)

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  38. eCig Guy

    eCigs on airplanes may be a few years from becoming a mainstream occurrence but it’s an intriguing topic nonetheless…

    1. Hillary

      eCig Guy. I agree. Look how far e-cigs have come in the past 3 years. Sales are now over $650 million a year in Europe and $1.7 billion in the United States! Now all we need is more support from the intelligent sector of the medical community and dare I say the FDA?

  39. joyetech

    Hola! I’ve been reading your website for some time now and
    finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Tx!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the great work!

  40. Cathy Bryant

    I use my e-cig on airplanes every week. The keys are to be aware of your surroundings, stealth with your activity, and the path to success is taking a double hit – take a hit on the e-cig, pause, and then take a second breath (a chaser breath), once you exhale you will have virtually zero vape mist. Works every time. Happy Flying :-).

  41. Jeanne Robbins

    Yes I have successfully used my e-cig on Turkish Airlines. Just careful not to exhale near the smoke detectors. Also used in a cruise ship cabin where smoking is forbidden. It has no smell at all.

  42. Does Cigar Tobacco Have Nicotine

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  43. GH

    Dear Hillary,

    As a manager of technical safety for a major international airline, I’m somewhat disgusted with your attitude and promotion of “tips” for beating the system. While the FAA has no specific regulation pertaining to e-cigarrettes, other nations’ regulatory authorities do. An international airline has to comply with the regulations of all jurisdictions over and into/out of which it flies.

    Advocating becoming cosy with a flight attendant exposes said flight attendant to disciplinary action and potential dismissal for breach of company policy. As captain I have the authority to charge passengers and crew for breaches of regulations (whether the passengers or crew are aware of the regs or not) and standing crew down with potential for dismissal for breaches of company policy. Bear in mind it is also company policy that enforces seat belt rentention when the seatbelt signs are off, and deliberate disregard of this company safety requirement has resulted in 27 deaths from turbulence-related events in the last 2 years world-wide.

    You’re a captive in an aluminium tube with anywhere up to 500 other people for up to 16 hours in an extremely harsh external environment. So next time you fly consider that fact as well as others, not just yourself. If everyone tried to beat the system every time you flew, there would be little order with nowhere to escape. And remember, if I decide to divert to some God-awful place to offload someone who persistently breached policy (which I am entitiled to do under all international regs), the authorities in those countries may not be so benevolent as to give you just a slap on the wrist..

    1. Hillary

      GH -Thanks for expressing your concerns here. As you pointed out “the FAA has no specific regulation pertaining to e-cigarrettes” (sp), which is why I chose to contact each US airline in an attempt to clarify their policies.

      This article is a report of what was advised by those airline officials to whom I spoke. While it may be true that international airline policies differ and as my article clearly suggests, enrolling the support of flight attendants is not assured. I hardly think such behavior would encourage passengers to break other vital safety rules.

      Supporters of electronic cigarettes are just as “disgusted” at the fact that airlines refuse learn the facts about a life-saving product that is no more dangerous than a cell phone. What’s more, the second-hand vapor produced by an e-cigarette has been tested by scientific research teams and is shown to be of no danger to human health; certainly no more so than a steaming cup of caffeinated coffee.

      If passengers have to ask a flight attendant if they may vape onboard, I see it as common courtesy. If attendants are somehow placed in jeopardy, so be it. Frankly, I hope attendants become plagued by such requests. It’s probably one of the few ways vapers will get the point across to the airline industry to do the research. They can all learn from Ryanair airline’s Stephen McNamara, who states “These cigarettes are smokeless, they cause no discomfort to other passengers and can ensure a more enjoyable and stress-free flight for all. When smokers can get their nicotine, everybody wins”.

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  45. Henrik

    I recently flew Lufthansa from the US back to Europe. I was sitting in business class and was trying to sleep. The cabin was dimmed downed. In a state of almost sleep I suddenly saw smoke coming from across the isle and one row in front of me. It really scared me as I thought smoke was entering the cabin from somewhere. After a few seconds I realized that a passenger was smoking an e-cigarette. This was the first time I ever saw someone smoking an e-cigarette and it took a while for me to understand what was happening. I am not a smoker and I don’t have anything against people smoking e-cigarettes. It was just the way it happened that scared me. In the future I will be more prepared. So be aware that people around you may not get what you are doing until they become more used to e-cigarettes.

    1. Hillary

      Henrik thanks so much for sharing your experience. The same thing happened to my husband years ago when he first tried to vape on a plane.Unfortunately some lady went hysterical and told the flight attendant the plane was on fire. Of course, by the time the FA checked it out the vapor was gone :)

  46. Pete

    I don’t fly for other reasons (I won’t accept being treated as a potential criminal just for existing), but I do vape in places where a cloud of vapor could cause “misunderstandings and discomfort” on the part of other patrons. I simply exhale into a couple of layers of a small towel. No visible vapor.

    1. Hillary

      Thanks Pete! Smart thinking. I do think we will see the day when vapers can vape proud and not have to feel like criminals!

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  48. Frank Worley

    I remember smoking real cigarettes on planes, in bars and elsewhere. Even a shopping mall and fast food joint. Had a teacher with an ashtray on his desk. Fact is the smoking laws went from reasonable to discriminatory long ago. It’s about time for the pendulum yo start swinging back the other way.

    1. Hillary

      Frank,
      I feel the same. I even wrote a few articles on the subject! Check out “Don’t Hate me For Smoking E-Cigarettes” and “Cigarette Smokers Have Rights Too”

  49. T

    I have vaped my e-cigs on commercial flights of several different airlines for 2 years without any problems until……. the other day.
    I went to the toilet simply to enjoy a more pleasant smoking (“vaping”) experience without having to hold the vapor in my lungs until the vapor itself would dissipate. I use to do this on every flight so I wasn’t expecting what happened. I took a few puffs, no issues, until all of a sudden for my surprise the smoke detector WENT OFF. Yes, it WENT OFF. Well….. it wasn’t nice having to deal with all the flight crew and passangers around, the smoke alarm sound is also not very nice. But I did. The crew asked me if I had smoked, I said no, they checked every single spot in the toilet and (obviously) found no evidence of smoke. I wasn’t surpirsed about that, what we inhale is in fact water vapor, not smoke. I still cannot explain how the detector went off though. I don’t think I will ever go back to the toilet for the purpose of puffing, will probably just do so while at the seat. Anyone had a similar experience?

    1. Hillary

      T- Thanks for sharing this. Have to say it’s the first incident I’ve heard of anyone getting caught vaping by a smoke detector. How awful for you, but glad nothing came of it. I’m curious, what airline was it? What type of e-cigarette were you vaping and did you blow vapor directly into the smoke detector? Of course, it may be hard to locate it!

  50. Hi Neil. Thanks for your kind words and you’re a trouper for making it through those long haul flights. For some, it’s a real challenge. Maybe we’ll see the day when e-cigs are recognized for what they really are (and what they’re not :) Till then, best we can do is spread the good word. Cheers and happy vaping.

  51. Neil

    Great to see such a common sense article on the web. I’ve just started vaping but have no intention of doing so even on long haul. It just seems a bit rude to fellow deprived smokers who haven’t discovered vaping yet – I guess we need a new etiquette!

  52. gazza

    Hi, i’m going to portugal from liverpool airport, do they allow E cigarettes in the departure lounge ?
    Thanks…

    1. Hi Gazza,

      It is not illegal to vape at any airport because an e-cigarette does not produce “smoke” and has no flame; however, you may be approached by others who think you are smoking. If you don’t like confrontation and if you are vaping a “stick” style e-cigarette which looks like a real one, I suggest covering the tip with your hand and keeping the vapor contained. Good luck and enjoy your trip!

  53. Linda Joiner

    I have smoked on airplanes for two years, but am discreet. I’m either by a window or I turn toward the other person that is in my party.

    1. Hi Linda and thanks for sharing your experience. It’s true, e-cigarette vapor (even the thickest) will dissipate almost immediately, so unless you blow your vapor where other passengers (or the flight attendant) can see it, you won’t be bothering or alarming anyone.

  54. Will do Norm! Thanks for letting us know! Happy vaping and best of of luck.

  55. Norm

    Please add me to your email list – the opt in section of your site is not working! Just started using e-cigs 2 days ago….so far so good!

  56. Mikey

    I use the original Janty eGo e-cigarette and the Janty stick, which is more of a stealth device type e-cigarette. I’ve never encountered any issues on any of the airlines with any of my Janty’s I frequently use. It is however important to stay low profile and keep the vapor in your lungs until no more visible vapor is seen through exhaling.

  57. Chad

    I’ve puffed on my Joyetech e-Cig all through Air Canada flights with no issue. WIndow seats help, but the real trick is to simply hold the vapor in your lungs/mouth for a longer period of time. Try it out before you fly to get an idea of how much time it takes for you, but the vapor WILL evaporate, and then nobody is the wiser 😀

    1. Thanks for sharing your vaping on a plane experience!

  58. Yaffs

    In Vienna there are smoking booths provided in the airport where you can smoke real cigarettes! They are completely enclosed and made from perspex with smoke extractors and “special” ash trays. No noxious odours escape and therefore no nuisance to non-smokers. Why can’t other airports do the same? Smokers are paying customers too, The last time I flew to Vegas from Gatwick, with the waiting time on top of the long flight, it  resulted in some 15 – 16 hrs without a cigarette. Many smokers (including myself) will be put off flying long-haul because of this resulting in lost revenue to the airlines. On my flight from Vienna, the passenger who complained (and I was being discreet like Mark below) was sat next to me and he quite happily drank whiskey throughout the flight to calm his nerves whilst denying me my calming vice! Alcohol on flights is allowed yet drunk passengers have caused numerous safety alerts sometimes resulting in unscheduled stops for the offender to be removed and arrested. As far as I’m aware, E-cigs are not illegal in that they don’t contravene any smoking laws, and I have never heard of anyone getting unruly or violent because they have consumed nicotine. E-cigs are a viable alternative to “real” cigarettes and it appears to be general ignorance resulting in them being banned in public places including airplanes. Perhaps the E-cig manufacturers should lobby the authorities and educate people to get their products accepted. Smokers are not 2nd class citizens, we pay the same fares and deserve to have our needs accommodated too. Why not reserve the back rows of the aircraft for those who want to vape? Many businesses are struggling in the current economic climate and every lost customer inevitably hits their bottom line.

    1. SavvyExaminer

      @Yaffs Hi Yaffs. Both the Electronic Cigarette Association and TVECA (Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Assoc.) are lobbying heavily to do all you suggest. To quote TVECA, it is their mission ” to provide the media, legislative bodies and those that are currently using the electronic cigarette (e-cig) a single industry resource to simply provide the scientific facts behind a new technology that has garnered tremendous disinformation. Now with over 3.5 Million Americans using the e-cig and over 21 scientific studies of e-cig constituencies it is our mission to disseminate the facts and truths about a new technology smokers are actually using daily and health advocacy groups are aligned against.”
       
      Thanks for your comment!

  59. Sinclair

    I just returned from Las Vegas.  While waiting for our flight, I asked the slot machine clerk if I could smoke my e-cig while playing slots.  He said, ” absolutely” they were not prohibited in the terminal.  He even mentioned a smoking room somewhere in the terminal.
     
    I was very pleased.

    1. SavvyExaminer

      @Sinclair That’s great news. I have also seen people smoking e-cigarettes in airline terminals. Thanks for leaving a comment!

    2. SavvyExaminer

      @Sinclair  Vegas may be one of those socially aware cities in which smoking your e-cig would be allowed; however, I have also seen vapers happily smoking their e-cigarettes in other airport terminals as well. It sure beats the stinky smoking rooms that in my opinion are degrading to any human being, even smokers.

  60. Observer233

    Here’s the perspective of a fellow passenger (non-smoking). On a recent international flight in business class, I saw what appeared to be smoke rising from a seat in front, and my immediate reaction was indignation over the “offense” and the fact that the flight attendants did nothing about it. While fretting over the situation, I noticed that the plume looked more like vapor mist and I couldn’t smell it. I concluded then it was an e-cigarette and promptly lost interest, but the reactions of other passengers will vary, especially when most just see what looks to be smoke. It probably does not help when the e-smoker deliberately billows the mist into the cabin, and visibly into the space of the fellow passengers. (As was the case on my flight.)
    The airlines and the authorities have little patience for these little dramas and as expected are introducing clear prohibitions.

    1. hillarymilesproductions.com

      Observer233 – Thanks for sharing your observations here! I’m sure our readers will be interested in knowing the airline you were flying. It’s interesting that the user “deliberately billows the mist into the cabin”. My experience has been that the vaper usually tries to keep the mist contained. Perhaps this person was actually hoping to state his case, although it does seem that as e-cigarettes become more popular and as the merits and benign effects of vaping become better known, fewer passengers will take offense and like yourself will just “lose interest”.

    2. SavvyExaminer

      @Observer233Thanks for sharing your observations here! I’m sure our readers will be interested in knowing the airline you were flying. It’s interesting that the user “deliberately billows the mist into the cabin”. My experience has been that the vaper usually tries to keep the mist contained. Perhaps this person was actually hoping to state his case, although it does seem that as e-cigarettes become more popular and as the merits and benign effects of vaping become better known, fewer passengers will take offense and like yourself will just “lose interest”.

  61. SavvyExaminer

    Yaffs – Love your story. Interesting that she said BA was the only airline that has banned them. Still, it’s quite amusing that she recommended you use the bathroom!

    1. Yaffs

      @SavvyExaminer I think she wasn’t really sure what BA’s policy was because I heard her ask a colleague, and I think her response was more to do with placating two customers with different needs. Still, having my nicotine fix in the toilet was better than no fix! I have tried nicotine gum before but it just isn’t the same and not as instant or rewarding as an E cig.

  62. Yaffs

    Hi, I’ve just been to Vienna from Heathrow with BA. I used an E cig on the way out with no trouble at all. On the flight back a grumpy, nervous passenger complained. I explained that it is only water vapour and not a cigarete but he continued to object saying that he didn’t like it. He then called a crew member and again I explained that it was an E cig that only produced vapour. The crew member told me that BA was the only airline that banned them on board their flights but said that if I used it in the toilet then she wouldn’t be able to see me.

  63. SavvyExaminer

    Kai – Thanks for the tip!

  64. Kai Mentz

    When I have to fly I always take some nicotine pills, that works great.

  65. Marissa Mark

    I have used my electronic cigarettes on such major airlines as American, Southwest, Virgin, Lufthansa and Delta. I never ask, I just stay discrete. The best thing to do is to practice holding in your vapor… the longer you keep the vapor in, the less you exhale. What you do end up exhaling, blow down towards your feet and continue to exhale, even after the vapor is out of your mouth. That continued airflow helps to dissipate the visible vapor and does not result in a rising cloud of “smoke” that might alarm other travelers. This technique also works well in movie theaters. My husband still forgets where he is when vaping and I have to elbow him in the ribs now and then, but if you’re discrete, you can vape ANYWHERE. Happy vaping!

    1. SavvyExaminer

      @Marissa Mark Thanks for those very valuable tips Marissa!

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  67. Cathy

    Thank you for having this article. I am leaving on a trip next week and needed to know if I could bring mine ecig on board the flight.

  68. Lifestyle Entrepreneur

    This is Terence Chang speaking.

    I quit smoking a long time ago. This is a great post, but I hope people quit smoking entirely.

    BTW, congratulation on winning the Emmy Awards. :)

    1. hillarymilesproductions.com

      Hi Terence – Glad you liked my article and thanks for the visit. I hope to catch up on your site too :)

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