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Flying and Vaping

Flying and Vaping

25th Jun 2019

With the summer holiday here, we wanted to address something we often get asked about: what are the rules about vaping on planes, in airports and for transporting e-cigarettes and e-liquids?

Vaping in Airports

In the UK, the Go Smoke-Free ban, which came into law in 2007, prohibited smoking in public places, including aeroplanes and airports.

However, vaping has not been classified similarly (as it is nothing like smoking). Public Health England has announced that it is at least 95% less harmful than tobacco smoking.

This announcement means that the rules about vaping are more relaxed. That said, it is up to all individual premises to decide whether vaping is allowed.

Many public places have decided to ban vaping, too, because, in the same way, people have the right not to have a cloud of smoke blowing across them; they have the same right to avoid an unwanted flavoured vape cloud.

Does this answer the question?

Not really. There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to public vaping.

So the courteous thing to do is assume vaping isn’t allowed in a public area unless you are told otherwise or there’s a designated area, such as the one at Heathrow.

Where vaping indoors is allowed, ensure you are considerate of those around you. Other airports, such as Glasgow or Edinburgh, don’t allow vaping.

There’s Always One

Spirit Airlines recently had to deal with a passenger who didn’t believe that “no flying and vaping” meant that no vaping was allowed on the aeroplane and in the air.

Despite being told by staff, this man from Florida needed to be convinced that this information was available when booking the flight, and there were signs everywhere.

Florida Man felt he would be fine if he vaped sneakily into a bag, which he wasn’t.

The cabin crew reminded him of the rules and asked him not to vape onboard. Fast forward a short while, and it seems that Florida Man couldn’t wait, which is why he thought vaping in the plane bathroom would work.

It didn’t.

All he achieved was upset and annoyance as his act of flying and vaping triggered onboard smoke alarms, which meant that the pilot had to drop 35,000 feet (something usually planned for) to switch the cabin alert off.

Not good, Florida man, not good.

The authorities detained him on landing but decided to let him go as he was cooperative and more than a little drunk. He did earn himself a blanket flight ban for all Spirit Airline flights in the future, though.

Why is this significant?

Indeed this is just another story about how people make bad choices sometimes. The bigger picture is that stories like these, which the tabloids and gossip sites love, all contribute to a negative image of vaping and vapers.

This isn’t really about flying and vaping. It is about damaging the reputation of the only practical alternative to smoking.

How E-Cig Policies Vary Between UK Airports

Understanding each UK airport’s restrictions is essential to travel with e-cigarettes. Each airport has laws and regulations to protect all travellers’ and employees’ safety, convenience, and well-being. To avoid unneeded hassles throughout their trip, travellers must be aware of these policies and strictly abide by them.

London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow, one of the busiest airports in the UK, has special rules regarding the use of e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are permitted in hand luggage but may only be used in locations authorised for smoking. By giving e-cigarette users a distinct area to indulge in their vaping preferences, these designated zones ensure adherence to laws governing public health and safety.

Manchester Airport
Another significant UK travel hub, Manchester Airport, has created a policy that closely resembles Heathrow's rules. E-cigarettes are permitted in carry-on luggage but only in places designated for smoking. To prevent unintended violations of the airport's rules, passengers must be cautious and aware of these designated zones.

Birmingham Airport
E-cigarette use is not permitted inside the terminal buildings at Birmingham Airport. E-cigarettes are permitted in hand luggage, but passengers cannot use them anywhere on airport property. This policy aims to uphold a smoke-free environment in the airport while safeguarding the comfort and well-being of all visitors and employees.

Edinburgh Airport
Edinburgh Airport takes a slightly different tack regarding e-cigarette regulations. E-cigarettes are permitted in checked and hand luggage. They can only be used outside smoking locations. This ensures the airport maintains a clean and healthful indoor environment.

Glasgow Airport
Glasgow Airport has stricter regulations regarding the use of e-cigarettes. Similar to Birmingham Airport, vaping is restricted inside terminal buildings, including common spaces and departure lounges. To enjoy their e-cigarettes, passengers are urged to do so in designated outdoor smoking locations. The airport wants to keep the area comfortable and smoke-free for all guests.

Luton Airport
E-cigarette usage is not permitted inside terminal buildings at Luton Airport. The use of e-cigarettes is prohibited in all indoor locations. However, passengers may bring them in their hand luggage. Luton Airport emphasises the value of maintaining a smoke-free environment to ensure all visitors' comfort and well-being.

Bristol Airport
Bristol Airport adheres to a guideline that forbids the use of e-cigarettes inside terminal buildings. E-cigarettes can be brought on board by passengers in their carry-on luggage. Still, they shouldn't be used inside. By airport rules, travellers may vape in designated outside smoking locations provided by the airport.

Newcastle International Airport
At Newcastle International Airport, E-cigarette use is prohibited inside terminal buildings, including all common spaces and departure lounges. E-cigarettes can be brought on board in carry-on luggage but can only be used in authorised outdoor smoking areas. The airport seeks to keep a spotless and smoke-free atmosphere by enforcing these rules.

Southampton Airport
Like Newcastle International Airport, Southampton Airport forbids using e-cigarettes inside terminal structures. Travellers may bring their electronic cigarettes in their carry-on luggage, but they are only permitted to vape in designated outside smoking locations. The airport's regulations prioritise the comfort and welfare of all travellers and employees.

E-Cig Policies for Major Airlines
Travellers must be aware of the policies of the airlines regarding these gadgets. To protect the security and comfort of every passenger on board, each major airline in the United Kingdom has formed its own rules and regulations.

Guidelines and Policies for Vaping By Airlines:

British Airways
Despite acknowledging the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, British Airways has instituted a full prohibition on their use on all of its flights. Vaping equipment and e-cigarettes are allowed in carry-on luggage for passengers. Nevertheless, they must be turned off and stored safely during the flight.

The UK-based airline easyJet abides by the rules imposed by the nation's smoking prohibition. E-cigarettes and other vaping equipment are thus absolutely prohibited on all flights. However, as long as they are turned off and stowed the whole flight safely, travellers can bring these devices in their carry-on baggage.

Like other UK carriers, Ryanair forbids using e-cigarettes and vaping equipment on flights. However, passengers are permitted to bring these items in their carry-on bags. It is imperative to keep in mind that e-cigarettes must be properly stored and turned off the entire trip.

Virgin Atlantic
The well-known UK airline Virgin Atlantic has a rule on using vaping products like e-cigarettes on any of its flights. These items can be transported by passengers in their carry-on luggage, provided they are turned off and stowed safely for the duration of the trip. Virgin Atlantic maintains a smoke-free atmosphere on board to prioritise the security and comfort of its customers.

A well-known German airline, Lufthansa, has a strict no-smoking policy that extends to electronic cigarettes and vaping products. On any of its flights, usage of these devices is prohibited. E-cigarettes and vaping equipment may be brought on board by passengers in their carry-on luggage as long as they are turned off and secured for the whole trip.

The renowned international airline Emirates has a specific policy that forbids using e-cigarettes and vaping equipment on all of its flights. Passengers can bring These devices on board, provided they switch them off and keep them locked away the entire time. Emirates prioritises its customers' comfort and well-being by keeping a smoke-free environment.

Keeping Electronic Cigarettes in Flight
Understanding the right storage procedures for e-cigarettes during flights is crucial for ensuring compliance with airline policies and prioritising passenger safety. The following general recommendations are applicable, even if exact directions may differ between airlines:

A Carry-On Bag
E-cigarettes should never be kept in checked luggage; only carry-on luggage should be used. This lessens the chance of loss or accidental harm to the gadget. E-cigarettes should be kept in carry-on luggage to be accessible for inspection during security checks.

Battery Security
It is essential to take any removable batteries out of the e-cigarette device and transport them separately in a safe case. This safety measure assists in avoiding unintentional activation and associated fire risks while in flight.

Device Dismantling
Consider taking apart the e-cigarette equipment by removing the tank or cartridge to increase safety. This aids in preventing the leakage or potential damage brought on by high-altitude pressure variations.

Taking E-Liquids in Travel
Following the rules established by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which mandates that travellers store liquids in containers of 100 millilitres or less in a clear, resealable plastic bag, is vital while transporting e-liquids. Make sure the bag can be quickly inspected during security procedures.

Rules when Vaping Abroad
A common substitute for traditional smoking is vaping. Understanding other nations' vaping laws and customs is essential as more individuals travel internationally.

Countries That Permit Vaping
While laws differ greatly from country to country, several permit vaping under certain conditions; before travelling, one must familiarise oneself with the relevant regulations. Here are a few instances of countries where vaping is typically permitted:

United Kingdom

The UK is renowned for its innovative approach to vaping. There are several vape shops and specific areas where vaping is permitted, both legal and well-accepted. To be safe, it’s best to abide by local laws against vaping in public areas.

United States
State-by-state variations in vaping laws exist in the United States. While some states have put limitations in place, others have legalised e-cigarettes. It is crucial to familiarise yourself with local laws and follow them in the state you visit.

In Canada, vaping is legal. However, provincial laws differ. While some places have dedicated vaping locations, others treat it the same as smoking and forbid it in public places. Learn about the rules that apply specifically in the province you are visiting.

Countries that Have Vaping Restrictions
Vaping is prohibited in certain countries frequently to safeguard the general public's health or avoid potential injury. Vaping might be permitted, but some rules must be followed. Here are a few illustrations:

Australia has stringent vaping regulations. It is allowed to own and use nicotine e-cigarettes with a prescription, but buying and importing nicotine e-liquids without one is illegal. Every state has its own rules. Therefore it's important to learn about the specific legislation of the area you intend to visit.

Although selling and importing nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are illegal, vaping is lawful in Japan. Following local laws and using nicotine-free e-liquids is advised to ensure a pleasant vaping experience.

Vaping is permitted in Germany, but there are several limitations. While it is typically acceptable to vape in public locations, some businesses may have specific rules. To prevent potential disputes, it is advisable to seek permission or, if available, use designated locations.

Countries That Ban Vaping

Several countries have outlawed vaping completely, frequently due to worries about health dangers and regulatory difficulties. Respecting these laws and quitting vaping in these nations is essential. Here are a few illustrations:

Singapore has a strict ban on vaping. Strict penalties, such as fines and jail time, can be imposed for importing, selling, or using e-cigarettes. To prevent legal issues, vaping must be fully avoided while visiting Singapore.

Vaping is completely prohibited in Thailand. E-cigarette usage, sales, and importation are all prohibited, and violators risk fines and perhaps jail time. It is strongly advised against bringing any products or vaping equipment into Thailand.

Brazil forbids vaping. E-cigarettes cannot be bought, imported, or used, and those who do so risk fines and product confiscation. Visitors should avoid vaping while they are in Brazil.

Vaping Manners Abroad
It would also be beneficial to become familiar with the particular customs around vaping in other nations. It will be easier to have a great experience and prevent potential misunderstandings if you respect cultural norms and local customs. The following are some extra considerations:

Public Areas
It's important to pay attention to your surroundings and respect other people's comfort in nations where vaping is legal. Even though vaping is less toxic than smoking, it is wise to exercise caution and stay away from it in busy places, enclosed spaces, or locations where smoking is prohibited. Always seek authorisation before using a vaping area if one is offered.

Considerations for Travel
It's critical to comprehend the guidelines for transportation if you intend to bring your vaping equipment and e-liquids on a trip. Vaping equipment and liquids may be prohibited in several nations, especially hand luggage and checked baggage. To ensure compliance and a hassle-free trip, familiarise yourself with the rules of airlines and airports.

Regulations on Nicotine
If you use nicotine-based e-liquids, you should be aware of the laws regulating nicotine products in the country you're visiting. Nicotine e-liquids may need a prescription in some nations, while their sale or importation may be outlawed in others. If you're using nicotine-based goods lawfully, consider utilising nicotine-free e-liquids or ensure you have the required paperwork.

Language Barriers
When visiting a foreign nation, it's easy to face linguistic hurdles when looking up vaping laws. Carrying a translation app or printed list of key vaping-related words, including "Can I vape here?" and "Are there any restrictions on vaping?" is useful. This will help you communicate clearly and ask for clarification when necessary.

What to Consider When Travelling With E-Cigarettes?

Travelling with e-cigarettes might make it easy for vapers to indulge in their habit while moving. Understanding the rules and restrictions related to flying with e-cigarettes is crucial.

Regulations for Specific Research Destinations
Learning about the e-cigarette laws at your destination is important before starting any journey. Different nations and airlines may have different regulations regarding the use, storage, and transportation of e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes may be completely outlawed in some nations, while their use may be restricted in others. Knowing the regulations will help avoid unpleasant surprises and legal problems while travelling.

Pack Sensibly
It's essential to pack e-cigarettes securely and carefully while travelling with them. To avoid leaks or damage, carefully store all e-cigarette parts, such as batteries, tanks, and e-liquids. To prevent spills, seal e-liquid containers with plastic bags. Remember to adhere to airline laws about the number of liquids you can transport in your hand luggage.

Battery Security
The safety of the batteries is crucial while using e-cigarettes while travelling. Always carry your e-cigarette batteries in protective cases to avoid accidental discharge or damage. Avoid placing batteries in direct sunlight or extremely hot or cold environments. Keep extra batteries away from the e-cigarette if you have them to avoid potential risks.

Inform the Security and Airlines
Inform the airline and security officials about your e-cigarette and its components to prevent issues at airport security.
Maintain easy access to your e-cigarette so that it may be checked if necessary; it might need to be screened independently from other products.
Follow security procedures to guarantee a smooth trip through airport checkpoints.

Examine the Vaping Policies

Check the individual policies of airlines, airports, and public transit systems if you intend to vape while travelling. Some airlines could only allow vaping in specific locations or outright ban it. To vape thoughtfully and responsibly when travelling, abide by these rules.

Going through Security with e-Cigarettes

Understanding the policies and rules governing the passage of e-cigarettes through security checkpoints is crucial when travelling with them. Following the regular procedures will ensure a simple and hassle-free trip whether you check them in or take them in your hand luggage.

Most airlines allow travellers to bring electronic cigarettes, often known as vapes, in their carry-on luggage. There are, however, a few crucial things to remember. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations in your nation or region must first and foremost be familiarised since they may differ.

Put your e-cigarette in a clear plastic bag with other liquids and gels to make it easier to get through security checkpoints. This makes the screening procedure easier and guarantees that security officials can quickly identify the items in your bag. Aside from that, be careful to take any cartridges or e-liquid bottles out of the device and pack them separately while sticking to the airline's permitted maximum liquid restrictions.

It is often safer to transport your e-cigarette this way when checking luggage, especially if you carry a larger device or a sizable quantity of e-liquid. To avoid unintentional activation while in transportation, it's imperative to ensure the device is off and, if feasible, the battery is removed or deactivated. An additional layer of security and aid in avoiding harm from handling is provided by storing your e-cigarette and its accessories in a case or bag.

Although the rules for taking e-cigarettes on a plane may seem obvious, you should always verify with the specific airline and local laws before your trip. Keeping current with airline policies and security procedures will help avoid problems or inconveniences.

What Happens if You Vape on a Plane?

In recent years, vaping has become popular as more people turn to it as an alternative to conventional smoking. However, there are particular rules and concerns to remember when travelling by plane.

Taking Your Vape with You on a Plane

The quick answer is yes if you're wondering whether you can carry your vape device on a plane. Most airlines let travellers bring vapes and electronic cigarettes in their carry-on luggage. But following particular instructions is necessary to guarantee a hassle-free trip.

First, keeping your vape device in your carry-on luggage is imperative because it’s not allowed in checked bags for safety reasons. The regulated environment of the cabin enables improved risk monitoring and mitigation.

It is advised to separate your vape device and put it in a clear plastic bag with your other electrical equipment to guarantee a smooth screening process. During the security check, it is easier for security staff to recognise it.

Turn off or lock your vapes during the trip to avoid unintentional activation or shooting. This aids in preventing potential risks and guarantees everyone on board's safety.

It’s also important to remember that using a vape device on an aircraft is typically not permitted. Most airlines have strong regulations against using vapes or electronic cigarettes while flying. This restriction is in place to preserve air quality, avoid aggravating other passengers, and eliminate potential fire threats.

However, some airlines could offer designated smoking lounges or areas where you can use your vape device at particular airports. It's crucial to adhere to local laws and ordinances if you have a long stopover and are in an area where vaping is permitted.

E-liquid or Vape Juice on a Plane

There are more factors to consider when transporting vape juice or e-liquid. The amount and packaging of liquids permitted on board are governed by regulations set forth by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

TSA guidelines state that liquids, such as vape juice or e-liquid, must be transported in containers weighing no more than 3.4 ounces (100 millilitres). Each passenger should have their own clear plastic bag to place these containers. Ensure the bag’s total liquid content does not exceed 946 millilitres, which is crucial.

To prevent spillage, it's also a good idea to pack the vape juice or e-liquid bottles snugly and leak-proof. This keeps your possessions safe and lessens disruptions during security checks.

How Likely Does Your E-Cigarette Set Off a Fire Alarm?

Typically, smoke alarms function by identifying the presence of smoke vapours in the air. Even while e-cigarettes don't emit smoke but vapour, a few things can still affect how the alarm reacts. Vapour from e-liquids contains microscopic particles and aerosols that, in some cases, could trigger a smoke detector.

Generally speaking, the possibility that an e-cigarette may activate a smoke alarm relies on several variables, including the type and sensitivity of the smoke detector, the density of the emitted vapour, and the device's proximity to the alarm. Due to its ability to detect even minute amounts of smoke, high-sensitivity smoke detectors are more likely to set off false alarms.

It's crucial to remember that most airlines strictly forbid using e-cigarettes because of potential safety concerns regarding vaping on a plane. Although it's unlikely that vaping will set off a smoke detector aboard an aeroplane, it's still important to follow airline laws to protect everyone's safety and comfort.

Vapers are recommended to exhale vapour away from smoke detectors, maintain a safe distance from the device, and ensure sufficient ventilation in enclosed quarters to reduce the danger of setting off a smoke alarm. Additionally, where accessible, using e-cigarettes in designated smoking or vaping zones can create a regulated environment and lessen the likelihood of setting off a smoke alarm.

So, can I Vape on a plane?

The short and sweet answer to this one is NO. You may take your e-cigarettes on board (more on this below), but vaping is strictly prohibited.

Feel free to check your airline for confirmation; however, we’d be surprised if you could find any exception to this rule.

May I Travel With My E-Cigarette and E-Liquid?

While it is essential to check with the airport and airline you are flying with (and returning from), you would usually be allowed travel with your e-cigarette in your carry-on/ on your person.

Some insist these are outside of overhead luggage, your pocket, etc. Batteries and e-liquids must not be packed in hold luggage when travelling on an airline. Always check the security rules for the region you are flying from, but in general, these should be well-labelled and stored in the same way that other liquids must be.

If you need more time, check in advance to avoid any delays as you pass through security.

Vaping Abroad

While the UK is relatively pro-vaping, other countries are not, with it strictly prohibited in some countries and even some US states.

With the risk of confiscation, fines or even legal action in some parts of the world, it would be advantageous to research national and local vaping regulations before travelling.

With vaping being so well-known and highly regarded in most places, travelling with your e-cig and the associated vape kit is rarely likely to be too much of an issue.

Airports regularly have travellers coming with vaping items, a global phenomenon.

Take the time to make some extra checks before setting off, and whatever you do, don’t forget a travel charger for your e-cigarette batteries.

Final Thoughts 

Here at Go Smoke Free, we want to highlight how small actions can have significant consequences. The flip side is that positive actions can also have a significant impact.

In short, spread truths, not myths, don’t be a discourteous vaper, and for goodness sake, don’t be a Florida Man and choose to ignore vaping and flying rules.

Just a few small and negative happenings can topple a person’s perspective regarding enjoying a vape, whether that is flying in the UK or abroad.

Suspicion, mistrust and a lack of proper awareness will turn people away from vaping, which means sticking with tobacco cigarettes, which can result in many health and environmental issues.

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