As of May the 14th US Navy sailors will no longer be able to vape on-board ships. Naval commanders claim this is to stem the apparent reported incidents relating to electronic cigarette explosions and injuries when out at sea.
In a statement on Friday they said:
“…the temporary electronic cigarette policy aims to protect sailors and the fleet.”
The explosions have apparently caused fires, facial injuries, dental trauma and first degree burns, with these incidents stopping sailors working for a total of 77 days combined.
With the policy set to take effect next month, what is the potential impact on the US Navy sailors who will have to deal with the stresses of deployment without electronic cigarettes?
Totally Wicked’s MD, Fraser Cropper, who served in the Royal Navy for 28 years, said:
“Life on board is difficult at any time. Separation from loved ones, relatively harsh environments, little leisure time, limited space and a real challenges to the senses and expectations that ‘civilians’ take for granted. It is therefore in this environment that Sailors need ever more the small, often taken for granted in the general population, pleasures to make life on-board tolerable.
Since I left, smoking has been banned inside the ship and only allowed in very limited outside areas. It makes a smokers’ life on-board ever more acutely difficult. Vaping helped this by allowing a more tolerant environment to exist which make the struggles with smoking on-board slightly more ameliorated. For those who exclusively Vape on USN ships what do they do? The only option will be to use cigarettes instead.”
The ban is being attributed to a worry over lithium-ion batteries within vaping devices, although they are also present in many other electronic products.
The US Navy has said that this is temporary measure while further investigations are taking place and sailors can still vape on shore in designated areas.
Fraser Cropper ended by saying:
“Very few privileges and tolerances exist in USN ships, which makes life at sea very difficult. This ban will make it even more difficult for the ever marginalised smokers and now also vapers.”