Safety Advisory: Battery-powered electronic smoking devices

Excerpt from FMCSA release:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is issuing this safety advisory to provide notice and information to owners and operators of CMVs concerning incidents that have occurred relating to the possession and use of battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices (e.g., e-cigarettes, e-cigs, ecigars, e-pipes, e-hookahs, personal vaporizers, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)) and the transportation safety risks associated with the use of these devices. Background: According to an October 2014 report from the U.S. Fire Administration, battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices were first patented in 2003 and have been available for sale in the United States since 20071. These devices have been rapidly growing in popularity as the number and selection of products expand. The devices contain a liquid, an atomizer or heating element, and a battery. When the device is operated, the heating element vaporizes the liquid which is inhaled by the user in the same manner as traditional smoking methods.

The Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) do not specifically address the potential safety risks posed by battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices. However, motor carriers and drivers should be cognizant of the risks associated with these devices and exercise good judgment and appropriate discretion in their possession, storage, charging or use on, around or while operating a CMV, and adhere to the smoking prohibitions on, near or when loading and unloading a motor vehicle transporting hazardous materials in accordance with 49 CFR 177.834(c) and 397.13.

For more information, concerning this Safety Advisory, please contact Vincent Babich, Transportation Specialist, Hazardous Materials Division, FMCSA, at (202)366-4871, or by email at vincent.babich@dot.gov.

Read the full release online.