Summer is upon us – and for many people, that means it’s time to make travel plans. When the kids are out of school and you’re finally able to get a couple of weeks off from work, nothing is better than taking the family to a seaside locale or some other nice spot for some rest and relaxation.
If you’re going to travel, though, you’ll almost definitely want to bring your vapes along for the trip. A vacation isn’t particularly relaxing, after all, if you have to spend the first day looking for a vape shop.
So, can you take disposable vapes on an airplane? The answer to that question is “yes” – and as you’re about to learn, packing your disposable vapes for air travel isn’t difficult at all. It’s important to understand the requirements before you travel, though, because packing your vaping devices improperly is potentially dangerous and could potentially result in your vapes being confiscated.
Here's everything you need to know about taking disposable vape pens on an airplane.
Why Do Vapes Have Special Packing Requirements for Air Travel?
All vapes have special packing requirements if you want to bring them on an airplane, and the biggest reason for that is because most vaping devices have built-in batteries. Lithium-ion batteries store a great deal of power in their tiny packages, and they’re notoriously volatile and susceptible to changes in temperature and air pressure. That’s why packages containing batteries require special warning stickers when they’re shipped by air. Lithium-ion batteries can violently discharge hot flames if they overheat, so they need to be handled with special care.
Airlines also have special packing requirements when it comes to liquid items. Although you can put most liquids in your checked luggage with no restrictions, that’s not true of liquids that you want to bring in your carry-on bag.
Although you need to obey specific requirements if you want to bring any type of vaping device on an airplane, disposable vapes are unique because they fit into both of the categories above. They have batteries, and they also contain liquid. Therefore, to be in full compliance with the requirements, you need to pack disposable vapes a little differently from any other type of vaping product if you want to bring them on a plane. That’s what we’ll discuss next.
How to Take Disposable Vapes on an Airplane
As you’ve already learned from reading the previous section of this article, you are never allowed to pack vaping devices with batteries in your checked luggage if you’re traveling on an airplane. The only exception is that you’re free to put a vaping device in a checked bag if it has a removable battery, and the battery is packed separately in your carry-on bag. That exception definitely doesn’t apply to disposable vapes, so your disposable devices need to travel with you in the passenger cabin of the plane.
Because disposable vapes also contain liquid, you’ll need to comply with an additional packing requirement if you want to bring disposable vapes on an airplane – you’ll need to put them in a zip-top plastic bag. That’s true of all liquid or gel items that you want to pack in your carry-on bag, such as shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste. The zip top bag should be quart sized, and none of the items in the bag should be larger than 100 ml (3.4 oz). All of the liquid items that you want to bring in your carry-on bag need to fit in a single zip-top bag, so choose the items carefully. When you go through the security checkpoint at the airport, the officer will want you to remove the zip-top bag for inspection.
In addition to the disposable vapes that you place in your carry-on bag, most airlines will allow you to travel with a vaping device in your pocket – the same way that you might have traveled with a pack of cigarettes in your pocket when you were a smoker. The final decision in this case, however, rests with the security officer. You should be prepared to remove the device from your pocket and place it in your carry-on bag if you’re asked to do so.
When you pack your disposable vapes for air travel, it’s a very good idea to leave the devices in their original packages. That’s because many disposable vapes ship with stickers covering their airflow holes. That’s particularly true of the high-capacity disposable vapes that many people use these days. A high-capacity disposable vape contains so much e-liquid that the sticker is necessary to keep the vape juice inside the device until you’re ready to use it. Without the sticker, a disposable vape may leak when the surrounding air pressure changes.
Can You Use a Disposable Vape on an Airplane?
You are never allowed to use any vaping device on an airplane, and attempting to do so could subject you to a sizable fine. Don’t attempt to take a sneaky puff in your seat – and definitely don’t try to use your disposable vape in the restroom. This is extremely important because all flight attendants are aware of what vaping is and can easily spot someone trying to use their device. In addition, most airlines do not allow passengers to use USB ports to charge vaping devices.
In short, your disposable vape should remain in your pocket or carry-on bag for the full duration of the flight. If you think that you might have difficulty managing your nicotine cravings, bring an alternative nicotine replacement product such as nicotine gum.
Can You Use a Disposable Vape at an Airport?
In most regions, the same rules and regulations that govern public smoking also apply to vaping. That means if smoking isn’t allowed where you are, vaping isn’t allowed either – and generally speaking, airports have almost no areas where vaping or smoking are allowed in 2023. You can use your disposable vape at an airport only if you’re in a marked smoking area.
Smoking lounges used to be fairly common in airports. They were indoor areas with separate ventilation systems, so people could go into the lounges and smoke without bothering nonsmoking travelers. During the 2010s, though, airports increasingly adopted smoke-free policies and closed their smoking lounges. That change accelerated rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 due to the need to enforce social distancing requirements.
A few airports still have smoking areas within their security perimeters, but those areas aren’t always advertised. Don’t be afraid to ask an employee if the airport you’re passing through happens to have a smoking area – just remember that disappointment is a strong possibility. That’s why it’s so useful to have some nicotine lozenges or gum available when you travel.
If you really want to use your disposable vape at an airport – and there’s no smoking area within the security perimeter – it’ll be necessary for you to leave the airport terminal and vape outside. If you have a layover in a foreign country, this will mean going through customs and entering the country. When you’re finished vaping, you’ll need to go through the airport’s security checkpoint again before you can resume your travels. You’ll need to budget plenty of time for these activities if you don’t want to miss your next flight.
Remember That Different Nations Have Different Regulations for Disposable Vapes
One of the most important things to understand about bringing disposable vapes on an airplane is that the laws applying to vaping in general – and disposable vapes in particular – may not be the same in your destination country as they are where you live. It’s always your responsibility to understand those laws, and no one at the airport or on the airplane is going to walk you through them. Here are just a few of the things that you’ll need to keep in mind if you want to travel with disposable vapes.
- Although most developed nations allow vaping, there are a few that have banned it completely. For example, vaping is banned in Singapore. If vaping is illegal in your destination country, you can’t bring your disposable vapes there and will need to use an alternative form of nicotine instead.
- Many nations have extremely strict laws about public vaping. You shouldn’t ever vape in public in a foreign country unless you’re absolutely certain you’re allowed to do so. Tourists who were ignorant of public vaping laws have had to pay steep fines for vaping in public in nations such as Thailand.
- Many places have extremely strict laws regarding littering. Always discard your disposable vapes properly and don’t ever drop your devices on the ground when you’re done using them.
- Before traveling to any foreign country, familiarize yourself with that country’s vaping laws. Although most nations allow people to possess and use vaping products, the sale of those products may be forbidden – so you won’t find any vape shops in those countries. In addition, some nations allow vaping but don’t allow the sale of e-liquids with nicotine. If you’re going to travel to a nation that doesn’t allow companies to sell e-liquid with nicotine, you should make sure that you’re allowed to bring your own disposable vapes for personal use.