Travelling with E-Cigarettes in the UK
Vaping has become very popular. Much like smoking, most vapers want to take their equipment on their trips so they can vape at their convenience. However, because the trend has only recently broken into the mainstream, most of its aspects and regulations are still in the grey area.
As such most vapers don’t know what the policies are on travelling with E-cigs or related equipment. In fact, it wasn’t until recently that most airlines and airports published guidelines on the same. If you have been tense about moving around with your e-cig because you’re not sure where the law stands, this little guide will help you.
Using E-Cigarettes at UK Airports
In November 2013, Heathrow Airport became the first and only airport to permit the use of e-cigs in its premises. They went as far as having a designated area for vapers. However, at the moment, their website indicates that they don't allow vaping inside their premises.
As for other Airports in the UK, vaping is completely banned. You cannot use an e-cig within the premises.
However, not all airports have the same policies. There some that explicitly mention they don't allow the use of e-cigarettes awhile others don't state their policies on using E-cigarettes.
There are airports in the UK that have banned vaping inside the terminals and the facility but have provided smoking areas outside the facility. These include:
- Gatwick Airport
- Heathrow Airport
- Belfast International Airport
- George Best Belfast City Airport
- Birmingham Airport
- Bristol Airport
- Cardiff Airport
- Humberside Airport
- Liverpool John Lennon Airport
- Luton Airport.
On the other hand, other airports have mentioned on their websites that they don't allow vaping. However, they have not specified whether they have designated areas for vaping or lack such facilities. These include;
- Stansted Airport
- Exeter Airport
- East Midlands Airport (Since 2014)
- Manchester Airport
London City and Southampton Airports don't allow vaping past the security check. The use of e-cigarettes before the security check is not clear.
Finally, there are airports that have not taken a stand or rather have not provided information on the details of whether vaping is allowed inside the facility or if there are designated areas where vapers can enjoy their exploits. These include;
- Edinburgh Airport
- Durham Tees Valley Airport
- Glasgow Airport
- Leeds Airport
- Prestwick Airport
- Robin Hood Airport
Can I Go Through Airport Security with My E-Cig?
It’s important to know if you can go through airport security with your E-cig well beforehand so you can pack accordingly. Most airports allow you to carry your e-cig but, you’re required to follow certain conditions.
First, is that e-cigarettes must be taken through security and they can only be stored inside the carry-on baggage. That means you can’t leave your e-cigarette in the suitcase that goes inside the cargo bay.
Additionally, e-cigarettes are prohibited in the checked baggage. It doesn’t matter whether the flight is local or international. These requirements apply for both types of flats.
It is important to note that you will only be allowed to carry e-juice packed in containers that are no more than 100ml. If you have anything bigger than 100ml, you might have to leave it behind with security. The vape juice also has to be placed in a clear plastic bag like other liquids.
If you follow these guidelines and policies, you shouldn’t have problems going through security and bringing your e-cigarette with you on the trip.
Carrying and Using of E-cigarettes on Planes
The guidelines for carrying e-cigarettes and using them on planes are more or less the same as those used by the airports. While all airlines allow you to bring e-cigs into the plane, there's none that allows using of e-cigs on board. If you're not sure about what the policy is with your airline, it's advisable to check before booking.
Even though airlines like British Airways sells e-cigarettes in-flight, they don’t mention whether you can use them or not. But, you shouldn’t expect to be allowed.
Ryanair does not allow you to use e-cigs on board. However, you can buy smokeless cigarettes and use those in the flight.
All other major airlines like Virgin Atlantic, Aer Lingus, and Easy Jet allow you to bring your E-cigs with you, but none of them allows the use of the e-cig on board.
Can I Bring My E-Cigs on International Travels?
If you want to bring your e-cig with you on international travel, the question of whether or not you can bring your e-cigs solely depends on the laws in the country you intend to visit. It's essential you dig out as much information as possible about your destination to avoid any run-ins with local law enforcement.
In countries like Qatar, it’s illegal to import e-cigs and even British Airways does not sell e-cigs on the flights to Qatar. Other countries like Singapore have entirely banned the use of E-cigarettes and in some areas of New York, you can't vape in areas where smoking is prohibited.
As such, you need to conduct a search to find what local legislation says about buying and using e-cig and e-cig related products. If the use of the e-cig is allowed, you might also want to check if you can buy e-juice while overseas. If not, you should take enough to last you for the length of your stay.
Be Sure About the Rules
Even though in the UK e-cigarettes have become a big deal, it’s not the same in other parts of the world. As such, you should expect to be questioned about them in some airports particularly those in some parts of Europe.
Before travelling, it's imperative that you research the laws of your destination. Unfortunately, in most cases, there are no specific laws that prohibit the use of e-cig so it might be a little confusing trying to find out where you can and can't use your vaping device.
If you find yourself in such a sticky position, the airport or your airline can offer great insight on where the law stands with regards to use of E-cigs. You should do everything possible to get as much information as possible before you leave to avoid getting into trouble once you arrive.