By Keith Laing - 06/10/14 03:05 PM EDT
A group of Democratic senators called Tuesday for the Department of Transportation to end an "unacceptable" delay in implementing a ban on electronic cigarettes on airplanes.
The senators said Tuesday in a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx that the agency is two years behind schedule in finalizing rules that would ban the use of e-cigarettes during flights.
"While many major carriers have decided to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes, federal regulations still allow these products to be used during flight," the lawmakers wrote.
The letter was signed by Sens. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerThis week: Shutdown deadline looms over Congress Senators seek to boost women in international forces Overnight Energy: Senate approves Flint aid | Union chief backs Dakota pipeline MORE (D-Calif), Dick DurbinDick DurbinSpending bill doesn't include Cruz internet fight Overnight Tech: GOP says internet fight isn't over | EU chief defends Apple tax ruling | Feds roll out self-driving car guidelines | Netflix's China worries Reid blasts Cruz over internet fight MORE (D-Ill.), Tom HarkinTom HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? MORE (D-Iowa), Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalOvernight Cybersecurity: Cyber questions for the debate | Dem wants Yahoo hack probe Takata says it failed to report airbag rupture in 2003 Dem senator urges SEC to investigate Yahoo MORE (D-Conn.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownLawmakers play catch-up as smartphone banking surges Overnight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas House votes to eliminate Olympic medal tax MORE (D-Ohio), Jack ReedJack ReedOvernight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas Senate Dems call for investigation into Wells Fargo's wage practices Week ahead: Negotiators near deal on defense bill MORE (D-R.I.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass).
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has banned airline passengers from smoking traditional cigarettes during flights since the late 1990's.
The lawmakers argued that e-cigarette makers were taking advantage of the agency's slow pace in applying a similar ban to electronic smoking devices.
"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 senators called for Foxx to quickly finalizing the rules ban e-cigarettes on flights.
"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.
The Hill is checking with the transportation department for a response to the senators' letter.