- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A group of Democratic senators sent a letter Tuesday calling on the Department of Transportation to pick up the pace in implementing a ban on electronic cigarettes on planes.

The letter — signed by Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Richard Durbin of Illinois, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts — said the agency is two years behind schedule in finalizing rules on the ban, The Hill reported.

“The Department of Transportation first published proposed rules to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes on aircraft on September 15, 2011,” the lawmakers wrote. “It is unacceptable that it has been more than two years and this rule has yet to be finalized.”

“Numerous electronic cigarette companies have marketed their products as offering the freedom to break the rules or smoke in places where traditional cigarettes are banned, such as airplanes,” they wrote, The Hill reported. “Please act immediately to finalize these rules, and respond with an exact date when regulations will be published and when electronic cigarettes will finally be banned on commercial flights,” they wrote.