After a series of “mishaps,” the Navy says it will no longer allow sailors to bring electronic cigarettes onto its ships, submarines, aircraft, boats, craft and heavy equipment.
“The prohibition applies to Sailors, Marines, Military Sealift Command civilians and any personnel working on or visiting those units,” according to a statement obtained by NPR’s Sarah McCammon, issued by the commanders of the U.S. Fleet Forces and the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
“The Fleet commanders implemented this policy to protect the safety and welfare of Sailors and to protect the ships, submarines, aircraft and equipment,” it adds.
The ban will go into force on May 14 and will “remain in effect until a final determination can be made following a thorough analysis,” the Navy says. At the same time, “sailors on shore will still be allowed to use [Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems] on base, but must do so in designated smoking areas ashore while on military installations.”
The problem is e-cigarette lithium-ion batteries that can explode. Last year, Navy Times reported that the Naval Safety Center called for a full ban of the devices on Navy property, citing their “significant and unacceptable risk.”