Electronic cigarettes and air travel

What are electronic cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that simulate tobacco smoking by producing a heated vapor which resembles smoke. The devices have a heating element to vaporize a liquid solution which often contains a combination of nicotine and other chemicals.

While most electronic cigarettes are designed to look like conventional cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, some resemble common items such as pens and USB memory sticks. The act of using an electronic cigarette is often called vaping.

What are other names for electronic cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes can go by many names, including e-cigarettes, e-cigs, personal vaporizers, hookah pens, e-hookahs, atomizers, vape pens, vape pipes, and electronic nicotine delivery systems.

Are electronic cigarettes allowed in airports?
You can carry electronic cigarettes in any part of the airport, including the secure areas of the terminal beyond the security screening areas. However, airports consider the use of electronic cigarettes to be a form of smoking, and they can be used in the same areas where smoking is allowed.

Are electronic cigarettes allowed on airplanes?
Most airlines allow passengers to have electronic cigarettes in carry-on bags or on their person, but they do not allow them to be used while in flight.

Can I use my electronic cigarette in the airplane lavatory?
Probably not. While the FAA and other civil aviation organizations don't have specific regulations about using electronic cigarette devices in flight, most airlines prohibit their use on the airplane, including lavatories.

Can I put my electronic cigarette in my checked bag?
While the FAA and other airline regulatory agencies around the world do no prohibit electronic cigarettes in checked bags, most airlines don't allow them in checked bags. Check with your airline to see if it is allowed. If it is allowed, it may be a good idea to separate the battery from the device to reduce overheating hazards.

Why is putting an electronic cigarette in a checked bag a bad idea?
Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that may overheat, and there have been several incidents of electronic cigarettes overheating and causing fires. Also, many owners modify their devices with components, and these modifications may increase the chance that the device may overheat.

Will the TSA confiscate my electronic cigarette?
Probably not. Electronic cigarette devices and related components such as the battery charge are allowed in in the passenger cabin, so TSA will not confiscate your device at the passenger screening area.

If a TSA screener does try to confiscate your device, request to talk to a supervisor to resolve the situation. While they currently no FAA regulations prohibiting these devices from checked bags, the TSA may remove your device from your checked bag during if there are any safety or security concerns.

Can I put my spare batteries in a checked bag?
Spare lithium batteries must be carried in your carryon bag. Other types of batteries may be put in a checked bag if it is properly packed.

You may want to review your airline's rules and review this site's battery advice section to see if your particular type of battery is allowed in checked or carry-on luggage.

Can I vape (use may electronic cigarette) a designated airport smoking area?
Yes. If you are allowed to smoke tobacco products in a designated area of an airport, you may also use electronic cigarettes in the same area.

How should I travel with my electronic cigarette device and accessories?
The safest way to do so is to switch your device off, remove the battery from the device, and keep all your equipment and accessories with you in your carry-on baggage.

Additional resources
Electronic cigarette background information
Electronic cigarette health issues
Flying and marijuana
How to fly with cash

Electronic cigarettes and air travel
http://airsafe.com/issues/marijuana/ecig-faq.htm -- Revised 17 June 2015