The Navy has decided to suspend e-cigarettes and other vaping devices across the entire service because of reports that e-cigarettes sometimes explode.
The Navy stated in a Friday press release that the suspension, which also applies to Marines, will come into effect in 30 days, on May 14.
The rule, which bans using, possessing, storing and charging what the service calls “Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems” also applies to Military Seaflift Command civilians and “any personnel working on or visiting those units” aboard ships, submarines, aircraft and other equipment.
The policy technically constitutes a suspension, as opposed to a full ban, and is supposed to protect not only the well-being of sailors and Marines, but also to protect the equipment, as well.
Analysts intend to take a much closer look at e-cigarettes and vaping devices, and their findings will be used to make a final determination. But in the meantime, these devices are suspended because numerous sailors have been injured because of explosions, due to overheating lithium-ion batteries.
These injuries have included first- and second-degree burns, as well facial disfigurement.
For units already deployed, devices don’t have to be thrown out immediately. Rather, units can request extensions, so long as the batteries are removed and stored properly.
The suspension does not apply to sailors on shore who use these devices in designated smoking areas while on bases.
The Navy began considering the idea of a ban back in August 2016 after the Naval Safety Center wrote a memo listing various concerns about exploding batteries. At the time, the center stated that exploding batteries had injured a dozen sailors since 2015.
“The Naval Safety Center concludes that these devices pose a significant and unacceptable risk to Navy personnel, facilities, submarines, ships, vessels and aircraft,” the August memo stated.
The memo recommended a full ban of these products.
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