Your favorite vape and e-liquid can be excellent creature comforts to keep you from getting homesick when traveling. Not only that, strict smoking laws means vaping can oftentimes be your best option when trying to get your nicotine fix abroad. However, as vape and e-cigarette laws across the world become stricter, there are some considerations you need to make before you pack your gear for an upcoming trip.
We will go over some of the best tips to know when traveling with a vape, as well as answer some of the most pertinent questions you may have when traveling domestically and internationally from the United States.
What are the rules for flying with a vape?
Knowing the rules for traveling with a vape and vape juice can save you a massive headache with TSA. There can be strict rules on traveling with your vape, from the size of batteries you can pack, to even where and how you pack your device. It’s always a great idea to consult TSA and the airline you have chosen to fly with directly to ensure you meet all of their requirements.
These rules can differ from airline to airline, but the general rule outlined by TSA is that your device must be in your carry-on luggage. Failing to do so will likely result in your vape or e-cigarette being seized if you are caught with it in your checked-in luggage.
The reason vapes are not allowed in check-in baggage is due to the increased likelihood of the lithium batteries exploding or combusting in the cargo hold as a result of decreased air pressure.
Can you bring vape juice on a plane?
Yes, vape juice is allowed on a plane. E-liquids can be placed in either your checked baggage or your carry-on hand luggage. There are still regulations placed on vape juices that you need to know when packing your setup.
As with all liquids, airlines enforce strict rules on the quantities of vape juice you can travel with. Ensure your e-juices are in containers no larger than 3.4 oz or 100 ml. You can bring as many liquids as can fit in a 1-quart or 950 ml bag for carry-on luggage. However, this counts for all liquids, including things like creams and aerosols.
You can pack additional vape juice in your checked-in baggage, but the air pressure in the cargo hold could lead to spillage during the flight. Your favorite flavors might be great for vaping, but who wants their clothing to be wet and smelling of them?
Tips for packing a vape and e-liquids
Here are some of the best tips for traveling with your vape supplies:
- Pack light – it’s best to leave your coil kits and unnecessary items at home as these can be lost or cause unnecessary complications with security
- Opt for a disposable or pod system – for vape connoisseurs, this might leave you with a less enjoyable experience, but it will save you great efforts on a short trip. That being said, there are some excellent pod devices available nowadays.
- Put your batteries in your carry-on
- Ensure your device cannot be activated accidentally
- Try a nicotine alternative for long flights – there are great ways to get your nicotine fix mid-flight
- Leave your THC and CBD liquids at home – traveling with THC and even CBD can be risky or straight up illegal
- Avoid packing unopened or very full bottles of vape juice – they can expand and leak or burst due to cabin pressure
- Try nicotine salts – their higher nicotine strength means you might need to bring less vape juice along for the trip
- Prioritize your vape juice – purchase things like deodorant, toothpaste and other toiletries at your destination. This will let you pack more e-liquid in your 1-quart carry-on bag.
How to travel with batteries
An additional consideration to make when bringing batteries for your vape is how they need to be packed to be compliant. As outlined by the FAA, here are the proper procedures for packing your spare vape batteries:
- The most important rule of them all – pack all batteries in your carry-on luggage
- Know your size limits – 2 grams of lithium per battery for non-rechargeable batteries & less than 100 Wh per battery for rechargeable batteries
- Only bring enough batteries for yourself. Otherwise you could be questioned by authorities regarding distribution or sale
- Leave the batteries in their packaging or put tape over the end terminals
- Never travel with damaged batteries
For those wanting a more in-depth breakdown, the FAA has published these guidelines under their Pack Safe page.
Can you take THC & CBD e-liquids on an airplane?
In the United States, cannabis remains illegal in the eyes of federal law. This means that even if you are flying from a state where THC vapes are legal to another state with the same laws, you are still subject to federal law while in the airports and during the flight. This means there is huge risk involved with flying with your favorite cannabis products.
THC is also still illegal in most countries. Just leave all THC products at home.
On the other hand, CBD is allowed if you are flying domestically within the United States, granted the product contains less than 0.3% THC. The same rules apply for all liquids, so make sure you do not have more than three ounces. This has been confirmed by the TSA themselves. “Products that contain hemp-derived CBD oil or are FDA-approved are generally legal & can fly,” the FDA tweeted.
That being said, if you are unsure of the THC percentage or are generally uneasy traveling with CBD, the best course of action is to simply purchase whatever you need in your destination if possible. If you are flying outside of the United States, you are best off leaving your CBD products at home. However, CBD is becoming more and more accepted globally, meaning you probably won’t have to go without it.
Can you vape on an airplane?
No, you cannot vape on an airplane. There is absolutely no airline that allows the use of vapes and e-cigarettes. In fact, you can be subject to some hefty fines for vaping on a plane, ranging from $2 to $4,000.
And just in-case it needs to be said: don’t try to outsmart the security systems. Tampering with the smoke detectors in the airplane toilets, which is a federal offense and will land you additional fines of up to $2,000.
This means you could face $6,000 worth of fines for vaping. The risk-reward ratio definitely isn’t worth it.
Another regulation to know is that you cannot charge your vape on an airplane either, so be sure to do this before you depart if you want to vape when you land at your destination.
Can you vape in an airport?
The answer is yes and no. Some airports do allow travelers to vape, but many do not. It’s recommended to either check with the specific airport ahead of time or keep an eye out for signage around the terminals. It’s very likely that you won’t be allowed to vape within the airport. In this case, some airports will have designated smoking areas that comply with local laws. These areas are typically vape-friendly.
Best Nicotine Alternatives for Traveling
Knowing that you can’t vape on the plane and in some airports, many of us will need to make alternate arrangements if using vapes for smoking cessation. With some flights lasting over 10 hours, there will be possible signs of nicotine withdrawal for those who prefer high nicotine vapes or smoke cigarettes.
Thankfully, there are a number of great alternatives that will carry you over to your destination without having to worry about the discomforts we all get without our frequent hits of nicotine.
Nicotine gum, patches and even nicotine pouches like snus are all viable options when onboard an airplane. Again, it’s best to always check ahead of time with your specific airline, but as of writing there are no laws prohibiting any of these items. Just be sure to check the amount of these products you are legally allowed to enter your destination with.
Chewing tobacco is another alternative that you might consider, but this isn’t recommended. While you are allowed to freely move through TSA with chewing tobacco, problems can arise if you intend to use it during the flight. Chew isn’t discreet and, quite frankly, can be unpleasant for non-chewers. Again, if you do pack chewing tobacco, be sure to check the laws regulating it at your destination.
International Vaping Laws – Plan your trip!
There is always some degree of due diligence that international travelers need to do. Knowing the laws of a country before you even set foot within it can save you a lot of headache down the line. Vaping is no exception. With a complicated legal landscape on vaping in even the most progressive countries, it comes as no surprise that there are still countless countries that have strict vaping laws.
These laws can range from the prohibition of sale of vape products to even vaping itself being illegal. This is where planning can save you from heartbreak when you run out of supplies on a long trip. Do a bit of research on the country you are heading to and gauge the quantities of batteries, coils and vape juice you will need to sustain yourself. Don’t be the guy that has five bottles of liquid and plenty of batteries but can’t vape because they left their replacement coils at home.
If you are traveling to the EU, you should note that there is a limit of 20 mg/ml on vape juice. This means that even though your favorite brands might be available for purchase, they might be at a lower strength. So, if you find yourself preferring a higher strength liquid, you should pack this in advance as well.
The following list will give you an idea of vaping laws around the world. This list should not be solely relied on when traveling to these countries. Proper research into the vaping laws of the country should be done before bringing any vaping devices or eliquid with you.
Countries Where Vaping is Legal (There May be Restrictions)
- Canada — Limit of 20 mg/ml on vape juice sold.
- Czech Republic
- Indonesia – Subject to taxation.
- Ivory Coast
- Jamaica – Importation requires a government permit.
- S. Korea
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- Switzerland – Vaping ban was overturned in 2018 after a court appeal.
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom — Limit of 20 mg/ml on vape juice sold.
Countries Where Vaping is Banned
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Australia – Vaping itself is legal. However, the sale or importation of nicotine containing e-liquid is illegal. Apart from pharmacies dispensing nicotine vaping to patients with a prescription, it is illegal for any other Australian retailers, including vape stores, to sell nicotine vaping products.
- Brunei Darussalam
- Cambodia – Completely banned.
- Costa Rica
- Gambia – Completely banned.
- India – Completely banned.
- Japan – Electronic cigarette cartridges and devices for atomizing liquids are regarded as medical devices. When importing these, only one device (or two if a spare one is required) can be cleared through the customs clearance. If you wish to bring ejuice into Japan, the amount that can be cleared by customs is up to 120 ml (liquid).
- N. Korea – Completely banned.
- Lao PDR
- Lebanon – Completely banned.
- Nicaragua – Completely banned.
- Qatar – Completely banned.
- Singapore – Completely banned. Possession is also a crime and can carry a fine of up to $1500.
- Sri Lanka
- Thailand – If you are found with vaping devices or eliquid they may be confiscated and you could be fined or sent to prison for up to 10 years if convicted. Their sale or supply is also banned and you could face a heavy fine or up to 5 years imprisonment if found guilty.
- Vatican City – Completely banned.
Packing accordingly for air travel will always require some well thought out planning. Bringing your vape along for the journey adds even more of a need to plan well. There are rules governing pretty much every aspect of traveling, including before you even set foot on the plane.
Checking the rules with airports, airlines and foreign countries are all crucial to an enjoyable trip. When it comes to packing, you want to pack not only smart, but also in compliance with all regulations you could be subject to in your travels. Knowing these rules will also keep you out of unnecessary trouble and save you a headache or two.
Follow the rules, use our tips, and enjoy your travels.