FAA Warns Packing E-Cigs in Luggage a Fire Risk

The Federal Aviation Administration is warning airlines about fire risks from electronic cigarettes stored in checked luggage and is recommending that passengers bring them into the cabins instead, reports USA Today. (

In several incidents, e-cigarettes have overheated or caught fire when the heating element was activated accidentally, according to the FAA. An e-cigarette caused a fire in August in the checked luggage of a JetBlue flight in Boston, which forced the plane’s evacuation.

On Jan. 4 at Los Angeles International Airport, a checked bag that had missed its flight was found on fire in a baggage area and emergency responders blamed it on an overheated e-cigarette inside the bag, FAA said.

“These incidents and several others occurring outside of air transportation have shown that e-cigarettes can overheat and cause fires when the heating element is accidentally activated or left on,” FAA said.

The FAA alerted airlines Friday about an international bulletin that describes several incidents involving e-cigarettes, which have batteries that deliver nicotine through a heated vapor that resembles smoke.

The International Civil Aviation Organization, a branch of the United Nations, recommends banning e-cigarettes in checked baggage.

FAA urged airlines to require passengers to carry e-cigarettes and related devices solely in the aircraft cabin, “where overheating or fire can be observed and handled more quickly.” The agency asked airlines to explain the policy to passengers through websites, news releases, when tickets are bought, and during check-in.