Increasingly respected around the world as an alternative to smoking that’s by far and away healthier than sucking on a tobacco-packed ciggie, vaping is nonetheless looked on grimly by airlines. This old-school attitude then pervades e-cig use in airports and on aircraft – and how you pack your vaping equipment. So, what do you need to be aware of…?
Packing your e-cig equipment
Should you wish to take your e-cig device and your vaping paraphernalia away with you on a flight and subsequent trip abroad – either for leisure or business – you’re going to have to pack it all in your hand luggage. That’s because airlines don’t allow devices, e-liquid or accessories to be packed in their aircraft’s holds, so don’t give into the temptation of putting it all away in your hold luggage, otherwise it could cause delays at the airport.
Your e-cig device (dismantled in its constituent parts), e-juice bottles and refills – whatever their type and from wherever you bought them (say, an e cig shop Dockland) – should then be packed in your carry-on luggage in a plastic bag or container; this is because alterations in cabin air pressure during flight may cause a device’s tank to leak. However, you’re also advised to pack your vape paraphernalia (in its plastic bag) in a vape carry case, so you can keep everything together.
Vaping at UK airports
Like it or not, vaping is banned on aeroplanes – and it’s also now restricted at all UK airports. So, it’s more than likely that, once you’ve arrived at a terminal, you won’t be able to vape until you’ve identified a designated smoking and vaping area where both activities are allowed, if one exists at the terminal you’re using at all. Note: these are generally to be found outside or away from a terminal. You’re highly advised then to check with the airport on their vaping policy before you arrive, as it’s unlikely to be detailed anywhere in the actual airport.
You may not need telling, of course, but it’s also best not to vape around either babies or pregnant women; without question, the risks from ‘passive vaping’ are negligible at most but, while there’s any doubt (especially among non-vapers), it’s courteous to refrain from vaping around such groups of people.
Taking vaping gear through airport security
Here’s why it’s also important you’ve packed all your e-liquids in a clear, plastic bag; so the security staff can be sure of exactly what the fluid contents in your e-liquid bottles are. Be aware too that the enforced restriction of 100ml of all liquids taken on a plane applies to each and every air traveller in the UK and that you’re allowed only one single clear, plastic bag for fluids when you pass through security. Taking this into account then, you may well have to limit how many refills you pack.
Moreover, you might be requested to remove your e-cig device from its vape case and plastic bag as you pass through the security section’s x-ray machine; vaping devices, unfortunately, can appear a little ‘suspect’ on screen. Thus, to make sure you’re not delayed by unnecessary bag checks, always try to be entirely transparent and don’t hide anything you’re taking on board an aircraft.
Buying e-juice abroad
Once your plane’s landed and you’ve set foot in your destination, don’t forget the fact # not all countries allow the sale of e-liquid or the use of vaping products – does the country you’re intending to visit? It’s imperative you know the answer to this question.
Some countries, you’ll find, will have banned the sale of cartridges, while others will only sell nicotine-free e-juices or they’ll limit the level of nicotine that can be sold refills (there’s an EU-wide directive on this, for instance). Meanwhile, such countries, like Thailand, have gone the whole hog and banned use of any kind of e-cig altogether; indeed, in Thailand there’s a penalty of 10 years in jail if you’re convicted of vaping – eek!
Be aware too that Dubai, Singapore and the Indian state of Punjab all maintain strict vaping regulations and enforce hefty fines if they’re broken. That said, at present, across the world, the laws and regulations governing vaping purchases and use are in flux, so don’t assume anything; check what’s (not) allowed where you’re travelling and happy vaping – if you’re allowed!