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Navy Bans E-cigarettes, Vaping Proponents Say Battery Explosions Avoidable With Proper Use [VIDEO]

Update Date: Apr 17, 2017 10:08 PM EDT

E-cigarettes are being banned by the US Navy starting May 14 following several incidents of battery explosion which started a fire on the ships and hurt sailors.

The policy will cover all types of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)-- e-cigarettes, vaporizers, hookah pens, vape pens and e-pipes. Accidents due to battery explosion have caused first and second-degree burns to the face and hands of sailors while vaping, and even when just removing the battery from the device. The restrictions are applicable to sites such as aircraft, ships, submarines, boats and heavy equipment.

Sailors and all personnel working on them are expected to comply with the new regulation. It is unclear how long it will be in place as the safety of e-cigarettes and the lithium-ion batteries in them are being studied.

The incidents with exploding batteries have seriously caught the attention of Navy officials. In one instance, an aircraft was forced to turn back as an alarm was raised over smoke in the cargo room caused by faulty batteries. There was also a case of melting battery in a sailor's pocket, some causing their clothing to catch fire, others suffering from facial and dental injuries while vaping.

The FDA reported that the use of ENDS is on the rise particularly among middle and high school students. In 2014, studies show that 12.6 percent of adults in the US have tried it. E-cigarettes are often promoted as a good alternative for cigarettes. Tobacco users attempting to give up the habit are being encouraged by vaping proponents to transition to e-cigarette use.

The action of the US Navy received criticisms from the American Vaping Association, saying it was done without getting inputs from its personnel. They stressed that battery explosions could be avoided when users follow instructions on proper use and charging. The group warned that this will affect people and their health, as Vape A Vet Project executive director Will Cohen also similarly implied in a statement.

Cohen touts e-cigarettes as the healthier option for military personnel, the Virginian-Pilot reported.

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