Paper Tiger, given the fact that Ryanair actually sell electronic cigarettes aboard their aircraft, I am guessing that this is a BA company policy, as opposed to any Regulatory bodies ruling. I stand ready to be corrected though, as things may have changed since I last flew Ryanair which was January of this year,
Flying back from Stockholm on BA last month the guy sitting next to me asked the hostie if he could 'smoke' his electronic cigarette. She didn't know and had to check with the Captain who advised that it was not acceptable.
The reason why some airlines say no is that if people use them, it may cause confusion and/or distress to some passengers which could lead to more passengers lighting up, some passengers getting worried that it may cause a fire or if used in a toilet, activating the smoke detectors.
The problem with these is that unless you hold a large notice in the air saying 'DONT WORRY ITS ONLY AN ELECTRONIC FAG FOLKS' everyone else on board thinks they are real and will complain or light up a real one.
So BA policy has been to play safe and not allow them. Simples!
Don't knock him, personally I'd like to thank Faffod because when I read "Electronic Cigarettes" I had no idea what he was talking about until I went to, faithful friend, Google and ..... this evening I have purchased/ordered a 510 PCC kit and 30ml of 'Marlboro' refillable liquid.
I've endured 14 hours (ish) on aircraft without a cigarette but this is not the reason for my purchase, if I can switch my habit from fags to these electronic things then unhealthy habit solved.
Actually, it is possible that you may simply be exchanging one unhealthy habit for another:
The FDA’s Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis analyzed the ingredients in a small sample of cartridges from two leading brands of electronic cigarettes. In one sample, the FDA’s analyses detected diethylene glycol, a chemical used in antifreeze that is toxic to humans, and in several other samples, the FDA analyses detected carcinogens, including nitrosamines. These tests indicate that these products contained detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals to which users could potentially be exposed.
It still hasn't been established if mobile phones are hazardous to health or not. I shall happily refrain from electronic cigarettes if the rest of the world refrains from mobile phones, I'm fed up with tripping over the users whilst driving, in supermarkets, as soon as they get off an aircraft etc. etc. etc, probably even whilst they're having a crap
Fogg, there is significant evidence that e-cigarettes are healthier than the tobacco based ones. About mobile phone use... I think the loo is a safe place to use it, at least you're seated and inattentiveness does little damage to bystanders.