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Navigating the Skies: Revealing the Essentials of Traveling with Your Vape

Navigating the Skies: Revealing the Essentials of Traveling with Your Vape

tengku fadzlan |

Navigating the rules and regulations of air travel can be a complex and often confusing process, especially when it comes to carrying certain items onboard. One such item that has stirred a great deal of debate in recent years is the electronic cigarette or vape. With the ever-evolving landscape of regulations surrounding vaping devices and the rapidly growing popularity of e-cigarettes, travellers find themselves in a state of uncertainty about whether they can bring their vape on a plane or not. In this article, we will unravel the complexities of carrying a vape on a plane, addressing the essential do’s and don'ts that will help you ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey while respecting the safety and comfort of your fellow passengers. This comprehensive guide will provide the guidance you need to navigate the skies responsibly and in compliance with the established airline and airport rules.

Is it Safe to Bring a Vape on the Plane?

Certainly, you are allowed to bring your e-cigarettes, vapes, and related devices on the plane. However, there is a specific guideline you need to follow: these items should be packed in your carry-on bag, and not in your checked luggage. This rule is in place because these devices are powered by batteries, which come with a potential fire hazard.

Airport Security

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has set a requirement for all lithium batteries used in electronic gadgets, including e-cigarettes and vapes, to be stashed in your carry-on bag. Moreover, your vaping device should be turned off, and its batteries should be taken out and placed in a separate container. It is important to note that each lithium-ion or lithium metal battery must have a Wh (watt-hour) rating or a lithium content of 100 Wh or 2 grams or less to comply with these regulations.

Is it Okay to Carry and Use Your Vape on the Plane?

Smoking or vaping, whether using e-cigarettes or any other vaping devices, is prohibited during any flight, regardless of the airline operating it. This means that passengers are not allowed to use their vaping devices at any point on the plane, including inside the cabin and lavatories. Many airlines treat vaping similarly to traditional smoking.

When it comes to packing your vaping equipment in your carry-on, it is essential to ensure it is done safely and securely. The objective is to safeguard your gear from damage and to prevent any potential harm to fellow travellers throughout the journey. To achieve this, it is advisable to use a leak-proof bottle and place it in a transparent plastic bag. Additionally, if you are carrying disposable vapes, it is a clever idea to leave them in their original packaging while traveling to avoid any confusion with security personnel.

Can I Bring E-Liquids on the Plane?

Just like you would with any other liquids or sprays when flying, it is important to prepare your vape juice and refills appropriately. Place them in a transparent, resealable plastic bag and keep this bag in your carry-on. This makes it more convenient for security personnel to inspect your items during the screening process. According to the TSA regulations, any liquids that are in carry-on baggage must be contained in holders that have a maximum capacity of 100ml or less per individual item. If you happen to carry over 100ml of vape juice and refills, you might be required to check them in with your regular luggage. 

E-Liquids

What are the countries that have laws for vapes?

Vaping regulations differ across various countries, which means that passengers must stay informed about the specific laws applicable in the destination they are traveling to or passing through. Different nations can have stringent rules concerning the usage and possession of vaping devices, while others may permit them with specific restrictions. 

As an example, in the United Kingdom, you are allowed to bring e-cigarettes and e-liquids onto a plane, but using these devices during the flight is not permitted. On the contrary, in Thailand, vaping has been banned since 2014, and possessing a vaping device can lead to severe consequences, including fines (up to 30,000 Baht) or even imprisonment (up to 10 years). Here are some of the famous countries that have restrictions on vape:

Antigua and Barbuda

Legal to use, illegal to sell

Argentina

Legal to use, illegal to sell

Australia

It's essential to understand that the legal landscape allows for the use of nicotine with a valid doctor's prescription but prohibits its possession without one. Importing nicotine illicitly can result in substantial fines, reaching as high as $222,000. Penalties for nicotine possession can differ from state to state and tend to be quite strict.

Bangladesh

As of now, Bangladesh does not have any dedicated laws or regulations addressing vaping. Nevertheless, in 2021, the government made a noteworthy announcement regarding the country's tobacco control legislation, indicating its intentions to impose a complete prohibition on the sale of e-cigarettes.

Bhutan

Legal to use, illegal to sell

Brazil

Legal to use, illegal to sell

Brunei Darussalam

Legal to use, illegal to sell

Cambodia

Banned: illegal to use, illegal to sell

Chile

Legal to use, illegal to sell (except approved medical products)

Colombia

Legal to use, illegal to sell (however, the prohibition is widely disregarded)

East Timor

Believed to be banned

Egypt

Legal to use, illegal to sell—While Egyptis approaching the possibility of regulating vaping items

Ethiopia

Believed legal to use, illegal to sell

Gambia

Believed illegal to use, illegal to sell

Ghana

Legal to use, illegal to sell (except when prescribed by a doctor)

Hong Kong (a Special Administrative Region of China)

Legal to use, illegal to sell since 2022

India

It's important to note that the use of vaping products is permitted, but selling them is prohibited. In September 2019, the central government of India enforced a ban on the sale of vaping products. Interestingly, despite the fact that 100 million Indians are smokers and that tobacco-related issues cause nearly a million deaths annually, the government did not take any measures to limit access to traditional cigarettes. This might be connected to the fact that the Indian government holds a significant stake in the nation's largest tobacco company.

Iran

Believed legal to use, illegal to sell

Jamaica

Legal to use, illegal to sell nicotine-containing products without a medical license

Japan

You can legally use vaping devices and sell them, along with nicotine-free e-liquid. However, it is against the law to sell e-liquid that contains nicotine, though individuals can import nicotine-containing products with certain limitations. On another note, heated tobacco products (HTPs) such as IQOS are permitted and enjoy significant popularity.

Kuwait

Believed legal to use, illegal to sell

Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos)

Illegal to use, illegal to sell

Lebanon

Legal to use, illegal to sell

Macau (a Special Administrative Region of China)

The situation seems to be quite complex, where using vaping products might be legally ambiguous, but selling them is forbidden. On December 5, 2022, a new law is set to come into force in Macau, banning the production, distribution, sale, import, export, and movement of all vaping items. Although personal use could be considered technically legal, it appears that obtaining such products may present challenges due to potential violations of the import and transport restrictions.

Mauritius

Legal to use, illegal to sell

Mexico

It's likely that using these products is legally acceptable, but selling them is prohibited. In May 2022, the Mexican president issued a decree that bans the sale of all vaping and heated tobacco products, even those without nicotine. Several manufacturers, such as Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco, along with retailers, have contested the government's stance through legal actions, lodging individual complaints and securing favorable judgments. However, it's important to note that these "juicio de amparo" (protection trials) pertain exclusively to the complainant in each case and do not establish a broad precedent for all sellers. According to Mexican vaping advocate Roberto Sussman, the amparo process is a challenging and costly one, especially for smaller businesses.

Myanmar

Believed to be banned

Nepal

Legal to use, possibly illegal to sell (although the government itself seems unsure)

Nicaragua

Believed illegal to use, illegal to sell

North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)

Banned

Norway

Nicotine-containing vapes are legal to use, but illegal to import or sell

Oman

Believed legal to use, illegal to sell

Palau

Banned: illegal to use, illegal to sell (as of May 29, 2023)

Panama

Legal to use, illegal to sell

Qatar

Banned: illegal to use, illegal to sell

Seychelles

Legal to use, illegal to sell. Nonetheless, in 2019, the nation declared its plans to legalize and oversee e-cigarettes.

Singapore

Banned: illegal to use, illegal to sell. As of 2018, being in possession of vapes became a criminal offense, subject to fines and potentially imprisonment. Nevertheless, the fear of legal consequences hasn't deterred the existence of a flourishing underground market.

Sri Lanka

Legal to use, illegal to sell

Suriname

Legal to use, illegal to sell

Syria

Banned: illegal to use, illegal to sell

Taiwan (Republic of China)

Taiwan approved a prohibition on the sale and utilization of e-cigarettes on January 12, 2023. The implementation of this law is anticipated within 30 days after its official publication by the government, likely in February.

Thailand

Believed legal to use, illegal to sell. Thailand has gained a reputation for enforcing its prohibition on the import and sale of vaping products. In the past few years, there have been several prominent cases, involving the detention and expulsion of tourists who were caught vaping.

Timor-Leste

Legal to use, illegal to sell

Turkey

Legal to use, illegal to import. The act of bringing vaping products into Turkey is against the law, and when the nation reinforced this prohibition in 2017, the World Health Organization released a statement expressing support for the move. However, Turkey's regulations are contradictory, as there continues to be both a vaping market and a vibrant vaping community within the country.

Turkmenistan

Believed legal to use, illegal to sell

Uganda

Legal to use, illegal to sell

United States

Legal to use, legal to sell—As of September 9, 2021, the sale of products lacking FDA authorization officially became unlawful. While no state has completely forbidden the sale of vaping products, several have imposed restrictions on flavored items and online sales. In certain California cities, such as San Francisco, a comprehensive ban on all e-cigarette sales has been implemented.

Uruguay

Legal to use, illegal to sell

Vatican City

Believed to be banned

Venezuela

In August 2023, the Venezuelan Ministry of Health imposed a prohibition on the sale and individual use of both vaping and heated tobacco products. This decision came after President Maduro instructed the ministry to assess the potential for such a ban.

It is important for vapers to keep in mind that their vaping devices have the potential to trigger smoke alarms, which could lead to fines or other forms of punishment. Additionally, the use of these devices might be restricted in specific public places, including airports, train stations, and various transportation centres. To avoid any complications, it is advisable to use vaping devices exclusively in designated smoking zones and ensure compliance with all the local regulations in place.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the world of air travel poses unique challenges for vape enthusiasts, as the regulations surrounding these devices can be complex and subject to variations from one country to another. Carrying a vape on a plane is permissible, but with specific guidelines to follow, such as storing vaping devices in your carry-on luggage and ensuring that batteries are safely stowed. The prohibition on using vapes during a flight is consistent across airlines, treating vaping similarly to traditional smoking.

When it comes to the international landscape, it's vital for travelers to be aware of the vaping regulations in their destination, as different countries have varying approaches to these devices.

Finally, the precautions surrounding vaping equipment should not be underestimated. Ensuring your gear is securely packed and adheres to safety standards is essential for a smooth journey. While the rules may vary, this comprehensive guide is your companion for a responsible and compliant vaping experience while traversing the skies.

Examples of vaping offences at airports

British tourist gets caught with vape in Thailand 2017

As stated by a Travel Agent Central article written by Natalie Paris in 2017, Pat Waterton, a British travel agent employed at Langley Travel, shared an incident involving her nephew James. He was apprehended in Bangkok for possessing an e-cigarette and was subsequently fined £125. The arresting officer also warned him that he could potentially face imprisonment for the offense.

Fans will face fines or jail if caught with a E-cigarrete in Qatar World Cup 2022

According to a Joe article written by Danny Jones in 2022, Individuals convicted of offenses related to e-cigarettes can face penalties of up to 10,000 riyals, which is approximately equivalent to £2,200, or a maximum imprisonment term of three months.