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 BoxerDems leery of Planned Parenthood cuts spark Senate scuffle Calif. Dem missed votes, sit-in on trip to Spain Hispanic Caucus PAC looks to flex its muscles in 2016 MORE (D-Calif), Dick DurbinDick DurbinClinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Reid backs House Puerto Rico bill McConnell pledges redo vote on Zika after break MORE (D-Ill.), Tom HarkinTom HarkinClinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Iowa), Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalOvernight Tech: Groups grade Clinton tech agenda | Facebook activates safety check in Istanbul | Another holdup for location data bill Senate faces critical vote on Puerto Rico Reid backs House Puerto Rico bill MORE (D-Conn.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownClinton’s 9 most likely VP picks Overnight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal Senators rally for coal miner pension fix MORE (D-Ohio), Jack ReedJack ReedMcChrystal backs McCain's Pentagon reform proposal Overnight Defense: Biden hits Trump on national security | Dems raise pressure over refugees | Graham vows fight over spending caps Graham: Opponents of lifting military spending caps are 'a-holes' 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.