The passenger, who was on a Megabus coach traveling between Preston and London, was puffing the fake cigarette into a plastic bag so that his fellow travelers couldn't see what he was doing.
However, a concerned member of the public saw water vapor escaping from the bag, mistook it for a terror threat, and called the police.
Armed police shut down the M6 toll road and set up a decontamination unit before swooping in on the coach to search all the passengers.
The incident caused a four-hour traffic delay before police admitted that the whole thing was a false alarm.
Since electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco, smoking them in a public place is perfectly legal.
But just to be on the safe side, quitters embarking on a long coach journey should probably stick to nicotine patches...
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Caution: May cause terror alert