Taking Your Vape Gear on An Airplane
Ignorance is bliss, and this adage drove early vaping enthusiasts to unprecedented liberties and freedoms. Because the general public was unfamiliar with e-cigarettes, no pressure existed to push onerous laws, regulations, and guidelines. But with increased prominence came broader awareness, resulting in new protocols and even crackdowns. This situation is all the more critical when discussing vaporizers and commercial transportation. Specifically, questions regarding vaping on a plane have increased in popularity. Since e-cigarettes incorporate a much different heating process than traditional analog platforms, some enthusiasts conclude that digital devices fall under a separate categorization. But this is a dangerous misconception. While the underlying science of vaporizers is distinct from their analog counterparts, the law doesn’t necessarily follow logical thought processes. Indeed, when dealing with any vaporizer inquiry, particularly that involving vaping on a plane, you should err on the side of caution. In other words, if you can’t analog it, you probably can’t digitalize it, either.
To help you on your next air travels, here are some key pointers:
Can I bring my vape or mod on the plane?
With the increased scrutiny from federal and local authorities toward vaporizers and e-cigarettes, you might assume that carrying such devices on commercial airliners is illegal. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Under many situations, you can carry vaporizers in your carry-on luggage.
But before we dive into the details, let’s first take care of some housekeeping. The following should not be construed as legal advice. Moreover, the topic of vaping on a plane applies to traveling within the United States and its territories. Regarding international flights, several countries have strict laws regarding vaporizers.
Please do your own homework before embarking on a flight with your e-cigarettes or vaporizers!
That said, according to air-travel regulations at time of writing, vape enthusiasts may carry e-cigarettes in their carry-on luggage only! Due to the risks associated with fire and combustion, you cannot put vape devices in your checked luggage. Doing so puts your vaporizer at great risk of confiscation.
Also, please note that airliners will nowadays ask fliers to voluntarily check in luggage at the gate. If you elect this option – either voluntarily or involuntarily – you must remove your vaporizer prior to submitting your luggage. Otherwise, you run the same risk of confiscation as mentioned above.
Where it gets tricky is with your e-liquids. The FAA has strict rules regarding liquids on airplanes. Currently, you can carry no more than 3.4 ounces, or 100 ml. If your e-juice exceeds this amount, you must check in your liquids (but not your vaporizer!).
Finally, before flying, make sure to consult the TSA website’s section appropriately titled “What Can I Bring?” It provides a comprehensive list of dos and don’ts, so you’re not caught off-guard.
Can I vape in the airport?
Again, with so much attention and oversight on e-cigarettes, a casual observer may understandably believe that vaping in the airport is always illegal. However, that’s not necessarily the case as the real answer is much more nuanced.
Generally, several jurisdictions treat vaping as equivalent to smoking. Therefore, wherever smoking is illegal, vaping likely falls under the same draconian restrictions. When embarking on an unfamiliar airport, adopting the cautious approach is never a bad idea.
Still, the only national regulation against vaporizers as it relates to air travel is the method of transport (ie. e-cigarettes in carry-on bags; e-liquids greater than 100 ml in checked luggage). As things currently stand, no universal law exists regarding vaping in an airport.
Some airports, though, are much more accommodating (or restrictive) than others. For instance, Miami and Toronto are two North American cities which have airports that allow vaping. However, most American locations impose strict regulations. As with other issues related to vaping on a plane, please check ahead of time.
The same rules and regulations that you encounter in the airport usually apply to smoking lounges and other facilitative areas. Put another way, wherever smoking is illegal, vaping is also illegal. But where the analog practice is acceptable, you’ll find that vaping is also acceptable.
Can I vape on a plane?
Okay, the complete answer is much more detailed than that! Nevertheless, if you’re tempted to sneak in a session or a quick draw, don’t do it. Federal guidelines impose strict limitations regarding vaping on a plane. If you’re caught, you’re looking at serious fines, personal and professional consequences, and quite possibly imprisonment.
Now, more than a few vapers have wondered if they can get away with vaping on a plane. After all, the process between vaporization and combustion are completely different. Moreover, e-cigarettes don’t emit the same magnitude of harmful carcinogenic and toxic byproducts that analog platforms do. Essentially, the end-product for digital devices is mostly water-based vapor. However, this technicality won’t protect you against the law. Further, modern airliners integrate multiple smoke-detection and security systems designed to track down any heated or combusted residue. Vaping on a plane is a surefire way to draw immediate attention to yourself, and to incur severe legal penalties. Typical airliners incorporate three types of smoke and fire detectors: ionization-area, photoelectric-area, and photoelectric-ducted type. Of these three, the photoelectric-area variety will immediately ping would-be violators. Designed to detect the presence of smoke particles in the air, photoelectric-area alarms will sound off if there’s a disturbance in the reflection of scattered light.
Therefore, even if you’re not necessarily causing impairment to other passengers, this advanced smoke detector will spring to action immediately. Surrounded by so much high-tech safety equipment, it’s simply not worth it to consider vaping on a plane.
What are the consequences of vaping on a plane?
As we touched on the issue above, several consequences exist if you violate this air-travel regulation. Primarily, you’re breaking federal law so the impact to you is severe. If, during your course of vaping on a plane you decided to tamper with the smoke detectors, you’re looking at additional federal charges.
Financial repercussions for taking a hit during your flight may run up to $4,000. In and of itself, vaping on a plane is not necessarily an offense guaranteeing you a trip to the big house. However, if you don’t follow crew members’ instructions (i.e., you continue vaping after they’ve asked you to stop), you will almost surely face arrest once your flight lands.
Personal consequences may extend to you indefinitely losing your right to fly the airliner in question. That’s a major pain, especially if that airliner has a de facto monopoly on the flight you typically frequent. Moreover, you’re looking at professional consequences. In the era of social media, nothing you do publicly occurs inside a vacuum.
Finally, as we mentioned previously, foreign countries may impose stricter penalties for vaping on a plane. Given the wide range of troubles you can incur, violating this simple, straightforward law has no real benefit.
Enjoy a deeply satisfying session before your flight, and perhaps pack with you a set of sleeping pills. Although it’s difficult, patience in this department can reap serious benefits, and keep you out of often permanent troubles.