Imagine: You land in Singapore, stroll through the streets enjoying the sights. You haven’t had a puff for some time, so you put your hand in your pocket and draw out your trusty vapestick. You breathe in, enjoying the delicious hit at the back of your throat before blowing out a cloud of beautiful vapor.But then… a heavy hand falls on your shoulder. You turn round to see an irate policeman. Next thing you know, your holiday has been spoiled with a $200 fine.
As regulations on e-cigarettes vary substantially from country to country, it’s important you know the law before you travel, or you could have your e-cig confiscated, be fined or even imprisoned (an unlikely scenario).
So we’ve put together this handy in-depth guide to ensure you don’t get caught out. Please note however, that e-cigarette regulations can change at any time, so it’s worth double-checking with the local authorities before you leave.
Travelling by Plane
Can I take my e-cig on a plane?
Most airlines allow e-cigarettes to be taken on-board in your carry-on luggage, but it’s best to check with the airline before you travel. EasyJet for instance, allow an e-cigarette with a maximum of two spare batteries to be taken on-board.
It’s not usually a problem taking small bottles of e-liquid on planes (I’ve done it many times!) as it falls under the 100 ml liquid limit. Obviously, you need to put the e-liquid in a clear plastic bag alongside your other liquids. If you have large bottles of e-liquid you should put them in your hold luggage.
It’s also worth noting that many vapers have experienced leaks from their clearomiser / tank whilst on-board due to the pressure in the cabin (so pack some tissues!). The leaking tends to stop once you have landed.
Can I put my e-cig in checked luggage?
E-cigs batteries are now banned worldwide in checked luggage, so all batteries must now be placed in hand luggage.
Can I charge my e-cig in the aircraft?
You are no longer allowed to charge e-cig devices on the aircraft.
Using ECigarettes on Planes
Can I vape an e-cigarette on a plane?
Forget it! The only airline I know that allows you to use anything resembling an ecig is Ryan Air – even then, you can’t use your own ecig, but you can buy a smokeless cigarette on board and use it. (I’ve not tried it, although years ago researcher Paul Bergen told me they were pretty awful. If you’ve tried one, please share your thoughts in the comments.)
QatarAirways are one of the worst airlines – people have been arrested and thrown in jail for using e-cigarettes on QA planes.
British Airways have recently banned the sale of e-cigarettes on flights to Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, due to local regulations (which resulted in one of their crew members being detained and interrogated after being stopped at the border with an e-cig).
Using ECigarettes in Airports
Can I use my e-cig in an airport?
Things are a bit more hopeful here – Heathrow even has a vaping lounge. The airport also allows e-cigarettes to be used in the airport itself, although not beyond the gateway.
Some of the time you may be asked to use your e-cigarette in the smoking area. The V2 blog points out that there is no blanket ban on (US) airports on using ecigarettes but this is likely to vary from airport to airport, so it’s best to check before you vape.
Going Through Security With Vaping Supplies
Can I take my e-cig through customs?
With the exception of Dubai, you are unlikely to have this problem when going through airport security in any country where e-cigarettes are well known and used (I’ve certainly never had a problem in the UK!)
Do make sure that your battery fully charged and can be switched on as this may be required.
Can I take my e-cig through transit in a country where it is banned?
In general, based on both our own experiences and feedback from readers, it not a problem to take an electronic cigarette through an airport in a country where e-cigs are banned. However, if in doubt do check with your airline.
Where can you legally vape?
Again, things are more hopeful here. While ecigs have been banned in a number of countries, most bans focus on sellers rather than users.
In fact, when I was in Indonesia last year, I met several vapers who told me that they were allowed to import for their own use, but that the powerful tobacco lobby would not allow the devices to be sold in any scale.
However, there are countries which are more extreme. Singapore, for example, levies a hefty $200 fine for anyone using e-cigarettes. Some states in the US have also banned their use in parks or public places (New York, I am thinking of you!)
For more information, see the bottom of this post for an extensive list of countries and their attitudes towards vaping.
Before You Travel
Should I remove/disconnect batteries before traveling?
Yes, it’s a good idea to disconnect batteries from clearomisers/cartridges, turn off any manual batteries and take out removable batteries from mod.
Should I take my own e-liquid?
Make sure you have a good supply of eliquid, as you may be unable to buy eliquid in the country you are visiting. You may also find that foreign suppliers do not match our own strict testing regime! You can always check out our own delicious range of UK eliquid here.
Dealing with Attitudes
Remember, vaping may not be as well-known as it is here. Attitudes may also have been influenced by the low standards of reporting in some countries (Qatar papers once announced that e-cigarettes deliver 100 times more nicotine than tobacco cigarettes!) There’s a good chance the local tobacco industry spin doctors will have been at work too.
So be patient – and make sure you armed with the facts. You may also find that people get quite excited – I’ve had Spanish people jabbering away at me when they realised there was an effective alternative to smoking!
Finally, enjoy your trip – and don’t forget to send us a photo of you lounging in your hammock with a cocktail in one hand and your ecig in the other!
Have you got any stories or tips to share? Leave them in the comments below!