Korean Air to hand over e-cig smokers to police

October 29, 2019
Korean e-cig police

Try to grab a furtive e-cigarette on Korean Air and you’ll end up explaining yourself to the local constabulary.

The Korean carrier has warned it is taking a tough stance on smoking and anybody caught out will be handed directly to the local police immediately upon landing, regardless of the severity of the offense.

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Cabin crew are also being reminded about e-cigarettes, trained to be aware of diverse designs due and to take “proper and strong action” if passengers disregard the regulations.

The airline noted that smoking during flights is strictly prohibited due to the risk of inciting fires and because of the impact on other passengers and in-flight air filtration equipment.

It said the number of smoking incidents generally had declined from 266 in 2016 to 208 in 2018 and 120 up to September 2019.

But there had been in a surge in the use of e-cigarettes, with 34 percent of the devices on board found to be smoked on the plane in 2018, rising to 54 percent this year.

People were also now smoking the electronic devices in the cabin as well as in the toilets.

Smoking on flights is heavily regulated throughout the world and South Korean law allows a fine of up to 10 million won ($US8546).

“The smoke detector attached to the airplane’s toilet does not only detect regular cigarette smoke, but also that of e-cigarettes,” a Korean Air spokesperson said.

“Passengers’ cooperation is essential to tackle in-flight smoking, including that of e-cigarettes, which is an illegal act that seriously undermines the safety of the aircraft and is harmful to the health of passengers.”