The good news is, electronic cigarettes are “taking off”! More than 3.5 million smokers have switched to this smokeless and odorless alternative to traditional cigarettes (the Green Smoke brand is an example). But while these revolutionary products are welcome virtually anywhere, many airports and practically all airlines are not exactly holding up a welcome sign.
The thing is, fliers themselves seem to welcome e-cigarettes in airports and on planes. A survey of 1,000 travelers conducted by Skyscanner revealed that:
70% of smokers like the idea of vaping zones inside airports; 57% of travelers are okay with airports establishing such zones; and 64% of smokers say they would certainly make use of a designated e-cig area (if there was one) while on a flight. In a sign of the times, London’s Heathrow Airport has now launched the first airport “vaping zone.”
In spite of that, many vaping travelers are unaware as to whether they can or cannot smoke e-cigs during a flight…or even travel with them.
Regarding smoking in airports, different airports have different protocols. Check with the specific airport you intend to be visiting/flying through for the exact protocol.
As for smoking on airplanes, the short and safe answer seems to be, as it says on the TSA blog: Like traditional cigarettes, you can travel with e-cigarettes (and even take them through airport security), but you can’t smoke them either on the tarmac or on the plane. So the best advice is: Better safe than sorry. Here are 6 air travel tips to ensure that you and your e-cig have a smooth take-off:
• Ask the airline you’re flying with which items it allows you to bring in your checked or carry-on luggage. Remember that commercial airlines and charter flights work under different rules – and the latter may let you use your e-cigs.
• Pack your e-cig items in your carry-on (rather than checked) luggage. This enables you to be present to answer any security questions. Checked luggage may be subjected to later checks and x-ray screens and metal detectors will show the battery.
• Get through security checkpoints more easily by unscrewing the battery and cartridge/atomizer – including them with your keys, coins, watch, wallet etc that you send through the x-ray scanner. Separating the device from the power source also prevents potential problems as they go through the scanner.
• When aboard the aircraft, keep your e-cig stowed away. Do not attempt to smoke it either in the cabin or the lavatories.
• Be aware of any unexpected changes to laws or regulations by regularly checking the TSA website, well as various airline sites.
While you generally will not be able to smoke e-cigarettes while in the sky, there are plenty of other places where you may enjoy your e-cigarettes during your travels. So don’t forget to pack along an extra e-cig battery and enough cartomizers in your favorite flavors to last you.