The e-cigarette is booming, at least among steamships. According to the Electronic Cigarette Trade Association, about three million people are steamers. Thousands of euros in sales have been made with the electric version of the classic slow-burning cigarette, and this year the figure is expected to exceed 300 million. On the other hand, the figures for the tobacco industry are falling: the Federal Statistical Office says that about 80 billion cigarettes will be taxed, whereas in 1991, more than 146 billion cigarettes were still subject to the tax.
More and more people seem to be switching to the steam variant. But the electric cigarette is less and less present in public places. Whereas in the past smokers still bridged the gap between the long train journey and the electronic cigarette or traveled by plane with it, electric steamboats are now also banned. Which ones exist and if they are justified, the following lines should answer this question.
Authorized or not? Steam cooking in a restaurant and under a marquee
The law on the protection of non-smokers has caused the restaurant industry to swallow considerable sums of money. Many restaurateurs have accused the new legal regulations of depressing sales. A sigh of relief swept through the industry when the electric cigarette promised rescue. Where smoke is no longer allowed, steam may be the solution. But many law enforcement officials referred to the Non-Smokers’ Protection Act when there was no tobacco and no smoke at all. In this case, the city had threatened to take disciplinary action against a restaurant owner for allowing the use of electronic cigarettes on its premises. The city referred to the Non-Smokers’ Protection Act, and e-cigarettes would also be included. The innkeeper disagreed and went to court. The administrative court ruled that steam could continue to be used in restaurants. Indeed, as provided by law, there is no classical smoking here. In addition, the Non-Smokers’ Protection Act, as its name suggests, serves to protect non-smokers from tobacco smoke in particular. Passive smoking and passive vaporization are not comparable, because the combustion materials are absent. The law on the protection of non-smokers could not simply be applied to the e-cigarette. In Bavaria, too, the use in restaurants is not prohibited for the time being.
But many restaurants are voluntarily submitting to the ban on e-cigarettes. Even if legally it is certain that a certain right would be obtained, the operators see the electronic cigarette on the party without wanting to. For smokers, there are special ranges, and users of electronic cigarettes must also stick to them. The E-cigarette in the tent provokes, reads reason. If smokers see a steam cooker during the exercise, they are tempted to reach their addiction themselves. Therefore, the security service becomes active even in case of unauthorized use of the electronic cigarette. Steamboats, manufacturers and advertising did the calculation without the innkeepers, who had already campaigned for this alternative.
An alternative on your travels? Steam in planes and trains
You can see them in all stations: smokers getting off the train during a longer stop and quickly blowing a cigarette. After all, the journey continues for a while. The electric version is salvation. The current version of the conditions of carriage prohibits the use of electric cigarettes in trains. But not on the platforms.
The smokers had also hoped to be able to fill their long working hours with the electric cigarette on the plane. Some airlines even advertised the use of e-cigarette. But a security problem made the whole thing fail. The smoke detectors are activated by steam. It is therefore also forbidden for almost all airlines to use the electronic cigarette in the plane. And that’s not all: the models represent an additional fire risk in the luggage if the heating elements are accidentally activated. For this reason, according to the instructions of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the electronic cigarette may now only be carried in hand luggage. It is forbidden to load in the cabin for the same reasons. The steamboat is therefore within reach, but on the way.
What is banning and what is justified?
These are just a few examples of how the electronic cigarette is treated in public places. Many regulations seem to be justified. For example, if the steam sets off smoke detectors, it is perfectly understandable that airlines would ban them. Safety comes first even in luggage. However, the behaviour of facilitators is subject to discussion. This ban is not necessarily justified. Even a ban on electronic cigarettes in the smoking area of the platforms requires an equation, which the administrative court has clearly denied.
The prohibition is not always justified, but in some cases it is understandable for safety reasons. Nevertheless, such regulations will certainly not stop the success of the electronic cigarette. However, the following applies to all steamships: be careful where the electronic cigarette is infected.