Vaping has quickly become the preferred method of smoking across the US (and other parts of the globe) for many reasons. The convenience, lack of smell, flavor options, and the ability to control nicotine intake are just a few of the things users love about these handy electronic smoking devices.
But if you’re looking to travel any time soon, you’re probably wondering if it’s ok to bring your vaping device and vape gear on the plane.
The simple answer is: YES! It is completely legal to bring your vaping devices – such as vape mods and vape pens – on an airplane.
This said, in the US, flights are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with airports operating under federal jurisdiction by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Understanding the TSA-enforced guidelines about prohibited items, e-cigarettes and e-juice makes packing just a little less stressful – so here comes the fine print.
TSA Vape Rules At A Glance:
Your vape device has to go through airport security in your carry-on baggage (or inside a personal item like your purse, backpack, briefcase, etc.). Your electronic cigarette cannot go in your checked luggage.
You are permitted to bring individual e-liquid vape cartridges of up to 3.4oz (100mL) in your carry-on. Any container with a higher volume than 3.4oz/100mL has to go in your checked bags.
We’re now going to dig a little deeper into these TSA guidelines so you’ll be totally prepared for your next trip. This way you won’t get stuck at airport security being judged by TSA officers, or even worse, find yourself throwing out your precious e-cigarettes (or other vaping products) right before your flight.
Where Should I Pack My Vape For Air Travel?
Statistics show that 1 in 20 Americans use some type of vaping device or e-cig. The TSA created some fairly clear-cut regulations to ensure those who travel with vape devices fully understand these essential rules before their flight.
Essentially you are allowed to bring your nicotine vape device and e-liquid on a plane, provided they are packed properly.
It may seem more logical to stow e-cigarettes during your flight (i.e., in your checked bags). However, the cargo hold isn’t a pressurized cabin and as a battery-powered device, your vape is a fire risk when put in your checked luggage.
(If you’ve ever arrived at your destination to find your shampoo has exploded all over your stuff, you can understand the basic physics of air pressure in a non-pressurized space.)
The only way to safely (and legally) travel with your e-cigs is in your carry-on bag. In doing so, you not only follow US federal law, but you also ensure your vape is safe and sound.
Even if you think a little vape explosion is no big deal and won’t cause damage to the plane (don’t be that person), it is still incredibly annoying to open your bag and find that your vape is ruined and there is e-liquid all over your stuff.
And honestly, that is the best-case scenario!
We cannot stress this enough – as battery-operated electronic devices, vapes are a fire hazard if put in your checked baggage. Your vape pen could legitimately catch on fire and not only burn your suitcase to bits, but it could also put you and the other passengers in danger.
Moral of the story? Always pack your vape devices in your carry-on bag.
Now, let’s discuss what to do with your cartridges of e-juice.
Where Should I Pack My Vape Juice For Air Travel?
While some TSA rules are clearly made for the safety of everyone on the plane, some seem pretty random. If you have been through a security screening at any point in the last two decades, you will have learned – maybe even the hard way – that you cannot bring any individual container of liquid over 3.4oz/100mL in your carry-on bags.
Thankfully, most vape pen cartridges only hold between .5mL and 1mL of e-liquid each and you should have no problem putting them in your carry-on. However, if you have an especially large cartridge, make sure to double-check how much e-liquid it holds at its max fill.
This is an important step because even when a larger cartridge is half empty, if the max volume of the container is higher than 3.4 oz/100mL, the TSA agents will not let you fly with it in your carry-on. You will need to pack it in your checked luggage before you go through security.
If you don’t know the max volume of your cartridges, it’s better to safely pack your e-liquids in checked baggage to ensure they don’t get confiscated.
Remember, just like any other liquids you take on a plane, you have to put your juice cartridges in a clear plastic bag for easy access and identification at security (and also to ensure the e-liquid doesn’t leak over all your things).
Now that you understand how you can safely and legally bring your e-cigarettes and vape juice bottles/cartridges on an airplane, you should be ready to fly!
But you may have a few more questions.
Don’t worry, we’re going to answer them. We want you to feel 100% confident heading out on your next adventure!
To recap: you can absolutely bring your vaping devices and vape juice with you on a plane.
However, there are very specific rules you need to follow to keep you and the other passengers safe and to make sure you don’t have to throw out your juice or have some TSA officer snoop through your stuff.
Here’s the breakdown (and a couple of extras) just so you don’t forget:
- All electronic cigarettes of any kind must be packed in your personal items/carry-on bags (such as purses, backpacks, briefcases, etc.).
- E-juice in a bottle or cartridge with a max volume of 3.4oz/100mL can be packed in your carry-on in a clear plastic bag. Any e-juice bottles/cartridges with a higher volume than 3.4oz/100mL (or if you are unsure of the max volume) will need to go in your checked bag.
- Follow all local vaping laws while waiting at the airport. Using e-cigs is usually prohibited unless in a designated smoking lounge, and it is definitely still illegal to smoke anything in the airplane cabin itself. Yes, this includes stealth vaping. (Don’t even try to take a few puffs; getting caught breaking this law is so not worth it!)
- All international airports follow the same protocols as the TSA regarding liquid allowances and where/how to pack e-cigarettes.
- You can travel with a vape even if you’re not old enough to buy one.
If you think you’ve got this down, you should have a safe and easy flight to wherever you’re headed!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I vape in an airport?
Once again, bad news for vapers. You can only smoke either in the designated smoking sections or outside the airport (also usually in a designated area). It may be tempting to try and sneak a puff, but it is just as illegal as smoking a cigarette in a non-designated area.
Can I stealth vape on a plane?
After learning that your vape must be with you in your carry-on luggage, you may be thinking to yourself, is there any way to secretly vape on a plane?
The answer is simple: no, you cannot vape on a plane.
While vaping is considered quite discreet and generally undisruptive for non-smokers, it is also completely illegal to vape on a plane.
The TSA treats vaping on planes just like smoking cigarettes. Just one tiny vape cloud can get you removed from the flight, fined, or even arrested! (And trust us, no matter how smart you think you are, you will get caught.)
If you struggle with withdrawal on a long flight, we suggest using a suitable nicotine alternative such as smokeless tobacco, tobacco-free nicotine pouches, or good old-fashioned nicotine gum. Fortunately for you, in most places, you’ll be able to vape as soon as you get outside your destination airport.
Can I bring my vape on a plane if I’m underage?
If you are under 21, it’s your lucky day because yes, you can bring a vape on the plane!
In the US, it is illegal to purchase any tobacco products (including e-cigarettes and e-liquids) until you’ve reached the magical age of 21. However, it is not illegal to carry them with you on a plane!
In fact, even a passenger under the age of 18 can travel with a vape without fear of confiscation. (As long as your parents don’t catch you first!)
Can I bring electronic cigarettes to Canada or Mexico?
Planning to fly within North America? You can definitely bring a vape on the plane! You can safely and legally bring your gear across the border as long as you pack it according to the TSA rules we outlined in the previous sections.
Rules for JUULs
JUULs have become such common smoking devices, and they are so stylishly designed, that you may forget they are even in the same category as older, bulkier vapes.
But they are vape devices, and they’re also powered by lithium batteries (which carry certain restrictions for traveling).
So all the same rules apply to traveling with your JUUL. You can bring it on the plane, but only in your carry-on, and you treat the pods the same as any cartridge – packed either in your carry-on or in your checked luggage.
Hopefully, after all this, you’re feeling extremely knowledgeable and confident about the rules for flying with your vape. Have a safe trip!