Vaping in Airports: Can You Bring a Vape on a Plane?


Vaping in airports. Rules to follow
Dima Moroz/Shutterstock

Vaping devices vary in sizes they come in, batteries, usability, etc. The technology used is, however, the same: they have a battery, a cartridge where the e-liquid is stored, a component that vaporizes the liquid through heating, and a mouth-piece.

And for sure, there are some issues with traveling with e-cigs and carrying vapes through airport security, and to airplanes. All the relevant information needed will aid a traveler to stay on the right side of the law when taking a business or a holiday trip.

Major airports in the US where vaping is illegal

  • Francisco International Airport [1]
  • Philadelphia International Airport [2]
  • Los Angeles International Airport [3]

Vaping and Air Travel

Over the years, there has not been clarity on vaping regulations and laws. In fact, only a few countries around the world have regulated vaping. This is because there have been questions on how to categorize e-cigarettes given that they have not been in use for long.

Lately, however, there has been a steady progress in the regulation of vaping across the US. Since August 2016, all e-cigarette products are regulated in the same way as tobacco products. This was after the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) gave the mandate.

Some may wonder, when was smoking banned on planes? Following this categorization by the FDA, many states, as well as regional governments in the US, have included e-cigarettes to be among the substances banned from being smoked indoors.

Consequently, e-cigarettes have been prohibited in the same venues as those where traditional cigarettes are not allowed.

Due to the potential exposure of non-users to harmful chemicals, the World Health Organization has also recommended the indoor ban on e-cigarettes just like in the traditional cigarettes.

Across the world, some countries like Argentina have banned vaping while in others like Australia, only some restrictions are being enforced. Let’s not forget that different countries have different rules about vaping. When traveling to another country, it is a good idea to understand the local laws. Here is a list of all the vaping laws by country.

Can you use e-cig in airport within the US?

There are some vape friendly airports like the John F Kennedy International Airport and the Laguardia Airport in New York. In these airports, vaping is allowed in some terminals. Interestingly, this contravenes the Clean Indoor Air Act of New York State which does not allow vaping in either private or public indoor workplaces.

Some of the countries that have banned vaping in their airports include:

  • Singapore [4]
  • Argentina [5]
  • Hong Kong [6]

Major Airports Across the World and Their Vaping Rules

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport [7] is the busiest airport in the US. Vaping is allowed in areas designated for tobacco smoking.

Heathrow Airport [8] is the busiest airport in the UK. One is not allowed to vape inside terminal buildings but can instead make use of designated areas outside the terminals.

Frankfurt Airport [9] is one of the busiest airports in Germany. Vaping is allowed in the airport, but one has to use designated lounges like other tobacco smokers. One interesting thing about Germany is that it does not have age-restriction for the use of e-cigarettes.

vaping and airports carriage
Mila Supinskaya Glashchenko/Shutterstock

Taking E-cigarettes Past Airport Security

Airport security is responsible for the enforcement of airport rules and regulations. Therefore, if traveling to or within the US, ensure that all vaping devices brought to an airport are allowed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

On e-cigarettes and other vaping devices, the TSA has listed devices prohibited by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) from being transported in checked bags. Consequently, vaporizers, atomizers, e-cigarettes, vape pens and e-nicotine delivery systems should be stored inside carry-on bags within the cabin.

  • Going past airport security and flying with vape pen in your bag, you need to have packed your e-cigarettes inside carry-on bags.
  • When being checked at the gate or at the planeside, vaping devices and e-cigarettes should be removed from the carry-on vape bags or vape carrying cases.
  • This is also the case if you are flying with vape cartridges. There are dangers associated with packing e-cigarettes in checked bags.
  • Additionally, e-liquids need to be packed in clear plastic bags and should not exceed the 3.4-ounce allowed liquid limit.

Tips on How to Pack Vapes in Airports

To avoid inconveniences at the airport or in a plane, make sure you follow the airport as well as airline regulations. The regulations are in place to ensure the safety of all people.

Whether you are flying with a vape pen or flying with a vape cartridge make sure that:

  • everything packed in a vape bag or a vape carrying case;
  • ensure that extra batteries of your vape are well stored;
  • store the batteries away from magnets, loose change or away from anything that could ignite them;
  • switch off all vape devices and before packing them in their appropriate vape carrying cases;
  • consider packing your e-liquids in Ziploc bags as they can leak due to change in air pressure as the plane ascends;
  • do not attempt to charge the e-cigarettes on an airplane.

On top of all these, ensure compliance with all other vaping rules and regulations by both the airport and the airline.

Vaping continues to be popular not only in the US but in different parts of the world. Being a new trend in the use of substances, the legal question surrounding vaping is not clear to everybody.

In the US, vaping is not allowed in planes or other enclosed places-just like tobacco.

Nevertheless, one can carry vaping devices during air travel but only in carry-on vape bags or vape carrying cases. Additionally, passengers have to ensure that they are not in possession of legal substances such as weed vapes. Medical marijuana is still against federal law, regardless of if it is legal in the state where one is traveling from or to. TSA is not looking for marijuana, but, if it is found while they are doing a check, it has to be reported to the authorities. The point of this is to say that it is a big risk to travel with any marijuana or vape juice with THC in it through an airport.

Vaping on a Plane

So, can you vape on a plane? Vaping is prohibited in enclosed places. In the US, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has already banned vaping in commercial flights. The ban took effect in April 2016 and applies to all local and foreign incoming flights.
E-cigarettes are allowed aboard planes but one has to observe rules that have been put in place to ensure safety:

  • the storage of all e-cigarettes, including vape pens, during air travel has been regulated as well;
  • neither should e-cigarettes be charged on planes nor should they be transported in checked bags.

Why not checked bags?

If either damaged, defective or exposed to high temperatures, lithium batteries used to power e-cigarettes can self-ignite hence will not be allowed to vape inside a plane. Morally, it would also be an inconsiderate act given that passengers next to you could be non-users.

In fact, it has happened. An e-cig exploded during a flight on its way to St. Louis, MO. Luckily it was extinguished quickly, but it is clear what a danger this put the passengers and crew on this plane.

Upon the co-categorization of e-cigarettes with traditional cigarettes, vaping in airports automatically becomes restricted. Anybody within the airport vicinity will have to look for the places designated for vaping. In order to avoid any chances while at the airport, do some research on the airport’s rules and regulations before you leave for the airport.

Can You Bring a Juul on a Plane?

A Juul e-cigarette uses tobacco or alternative vaporizer. However, a Juul vaporizes without a flame-based method. Despite this, it will still not be allowed on a checked luggage and neither can it be smoked on a plane.

Can You Bring a Weed Vape on a Plane?

Well, can you take a vape on a plane or weed vape for that matter? Flying with weed vape pen will be subject to the laws that apply to the route of travel. Different countries have different legislation regarding the possession and use of marijuana. In the US, the TSA is mainly responsible for safety in transport.

Currently, under federal law, it is illegal to be in possession of marijuana or other cannabis-infused products. This then elicits debate on how one should transport medical marijuana.

If found in possession of illegal substances, the TSA will hand over the case to the relevant law enforcement agency that will make a final determination of their legality.

According to the TSA, even medical marijuana is considered illegal by the federal government and the TSA will report it, even if it is found in a state where it is legal to possess marijuana.
Even if the security screening is not specifically looking for any marijuana or cannabinoids, it is duty-bound to report any violation of this federal law.

Therefore, if somebody wishes to travel with a weed vape, they had better do proper prior research on the side of the law they want to be.

To be better prepared for travel, scan more information on the rules that apply to the airports and airlines you will be using.

Useful sources:

  1. http://media.flysfo.com.s3.amazonaws.com/media/sfo/about-sfo/SFO_Rules_and_Regulations_10-21-17.pdf
  2. http://www.phl.org/Pages/AboutPHL/RulesRegs.aspx
  3. http://airportsmokers.com/airports_of_americas/unitedstates/state_california/los_angeles.htm
  4. https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/TCASA1993/Uncommenced/20180103?DocDate=20110715&ValidDt=20190101#pr16-
  5. https://www.ersnet.org/the-society/news/respiratory-worldwide/smoking-cessation-in-argentina-our-position-on-e-cigarettes
  6. http://www.fhb.gov.hk/en/legco/replies/2017/lq170111_q18.htm
  7. http://www.atl.com/about-atl/airport-amenities/#1513372740118-c7d99d3a-dc1f
  8. https://www.heathrow.com/airport-guide/terminal-facilities-and-services/smoking-areas
  9. https://www.frankfurt-airport.com/en/travel/transfer.detail.suffix.html/service/at-the-airport/smoking-lounges.html

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Christina Matthews
I'm a bookshop seller. Unlimited access to an exceptional life inspiration leads me to photo mastering. And a year ago out of the blue photo shoot has started my vaping experience. Now I can't imagine my life without it. The aesthetics of a vaping girl is marvelous.
One Comment

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  1. I am trying to find out information specifically about the JUUL during travel. The article is well written, so I feel so dumb for asking this, but I’m new to using these and don’t know all the terminology. I understand that I need to have the JUUL vape pen with me in my carry-on. What about the flavor-ink-pod refill things, do these need to be in my carry-on as well, or can I put them in the checked baggage? If the refills have to be in my carry-on and there’s a 3.4 ounce limit for liquids, I could easily bring 40 or 50 refills (0.7 ml a refill) in my carry-on right?

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