NORFOLK, Va. – E-cigarettes and vaping devices are now prohibited on U.S. Navy “ships, submarines, aircraft, boats, craft and heavy equipment,” according to a new message issued Friday by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces and Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
According to a release, commanders issued the policy to protect the safety and welfare of Sailors, as well as the safety and welfare of the ships, submarines, aircraft and equipment.
The prohibition applies to all Sailors, Marines, Military Sealift Command civilians, and any personnel working on or visiting those units.
The Navy says the policy is in response to reports of explosions of ‘Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), due to the overheating of lithium-ion batteries.
Multiple Sailors have suffered injuries from the devices, including first- and second-degree burns and facial disfigurement.
Sailors who are deployed may request to wait until their next port visit to dispose of the devices. In the meantime, supervisors should ensure the batteries are removed and stored properly.
Sailors on shore will still be allowed to use the devices on base but they must be used in designated smoking areas.
The policy will be effective May 14 and remain in effect until a final determination can be made.