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Travelling with E Liquid: What You Need To Know

Planning a holiday? Uncertain about whether you can or can’t travel with your e-liquids and vaping equipment?

It’s a common concern among us vapers, as while vaping is very much accepted in the UK as a whole, not everywhere in the world is quite as on board with it.

Worldwide rules and regulations surrounding vaping have changed drastically in recent years, so it’s hard to keep up with what you can and can’t do.

Lucky for us, many airports and airlines have had no choice but to adapt to the soaring popularity of vaping in the United Kingdom so more times than not, travelling with your e-liquids, e-cigarettes and equipment will be hassle-free.

Having said that, there are a defined list of dos and don’ts when flying as a vaper. We’ve answered the most common questions surrounding this topic below, and by sticking to these rules and regulations you should guarantee yourself a smooth sailing trip abroad.

How much e-liquid can you take with you on a plane?

E-liquids count towards your total allowance of liquids in your hand luggage, so they will need to be placed in a transparent, sealable plastic bag no bigger than 20 x 20cm alongside your other liquids. 

Each bottle can be no bigger than 100ml, so small 10ml bottles of e-liquid will be fine to take through security, and any larger shortfills would be best packed into your checked luggage. This is a regulation that you will be tied to no matter which British airport you are flying from.

However, it is always worth doing some research on the laws of your destination. The use of e-cigarettes is completely banned in Singapore, for example, while other countries will only allow you to bring a certain capacity of liquid through customs. So, make sure you double check all of this info before jam-packing your case with more e-liquid than is acceptable, or you may risk them being confiscated.

You can read much more about this further down the article, where we detail a full list of countries within which vaping is deemed illegal. 

Taking e-cigarettes through airport security

taking eliquids through airport security

E-cigarettes must be carried in your hand luggage. Due to the nature of lithium batteries and the risk of catching fire, they are strictly forbidden to be placed in the hold. In order to prevent delays, always pack them in your hand luggage.

If your vape tanks contain any liquid, they will also need to be placed inside your liquid bag before going through security, so it’s a good idea to disconnect them from the battery before heading through security.

Top tip: Try to limit the amount of juice residing in your vape tank before flying, as cabin pressure can cause havoc with e-cigarettes and result in some very unwanted leakages.

Vaping in an airport

The use of e-cigarettes is banned in all UK airports. Generally speaking, they are treated in the same way as smoking cigarettes.

Using e-cigarettes inside the terminal is forbidden, and should you need your nicotine hit after passing through security you can only do so in the designated outdoor smoking areas if the airport has one.

Despite attempts at Heathrow airport to permit the use of e-cigarettes back in 2013, it should be noted that their premises are now strictly non-smoking and vaping, and you will not be able to smoke anywhere once in the departure lounge.

airports with vaping and smoking areas

An airport by airport breakdown of stances towards e-liquids and vaping:

Aberdeen Airport

Does not state their policies regarding e-cigarettes, though smoking anywhere inside the terminal other than the designated outside shelter comes with a fixed penalty fine of £50.

Belfast International Airport

Not permitted anywhere inside the terminal, though designated smoking areas can be found outside the main terminal and airside smoking facility.

Birmingham Airport

E-cigarettes are restricted to the designated smoking areas.

Bristol Airport

Forbidden anywhere inside the terminal and restricted to designated outdoor areas.

Cardiff Airport

Completely banned anywhere in the terminal, outdoor smoking areas are provided.

Durham Tees Valley Airport

No information provided regarding the use of e-cigarettes.

East Midlands Airport

You are unable to smoke or vape once you have cleared security in the airside portion of the terminal. However, East Midlands do have several designated smoking / vaping areas outside of the landside section of the building.

Edinburgh Airport

Smoking is restricted to designated areas outside the terminal. Anyone found smoking anywhere else may be faced with a £50 fine.

Exeter Airport

A completely smoke-free airport. Smoking and e-cigarettes are not permitted anywhere at the airport.

Gatwick Airport

Smoking and e-cigarettes are restricted to clearly marked, designated zones outside the terminal buildings. There are no smoking areas once you’ve passed through security.

George Best Belfast City Airport

E-cigarettes are not permitted in the terminal, but designated smoking areas can be found outside the terminal building.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport

Heathrow Airport

A smoke-free airport with no smoking zones after passing through security. A £50 fine may be incurred in breach of these rules.

Humberside Airport

E-cigarettes and smoking is prohibited both inside and outside of the terminal building, but a smoking area can be found a short walk away from the entrance.

Leeds Airport

Smoking and vaping is restricted to designated areas both before passing through security and after.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport

E-cigarettes are not allowed within the terminal building and are restricted to the designated smoking areas.

London City Airport

Vaping/smoking is only permitted in the designated areas outside of the terminal building.

Luton Airport

Not permitted anywhere inside the terminal, though a single designated zone can be found outside departures.

Manchester Airport

Smoking areas can be found outside all terminal buildings, with the use of e-cigarettes forbidden inside.

Newcastle Airport

Newcastle is a smoke-free airport, although smoking is permitted in designated areas outside the terminal building. 

Robin Hood Airport

Smoking / vaping is only permitted in designated areas outside of the terminal. There is also a designated area inside the terminal, located on the first floor adjacent to departures.

Southampton Airport

Not permitted anywhere inside the terminal, though there is one designated smoking / vaping area on the central forecourt outside the terminal. 

Stansted Airport

Not permitted anywhere inside the terminal, though designated smoking / vaping areas can be found outside the main terminal and airside smoking facility.


These regulations are correct as of September 2019. 

Before travelling, we highly recommend you check the location of your departure airports designated smoking areas. As this list details, not all airports provide designated smoking areas beyond security, and in the event of this you won’t be able to use your vape after check-in.

Vaping on a plane

Using your e-cigarette on a plane is a huge no-go and is once again treated the same as smoking a cigarette on board. This has been banned worldwide since 2000, on all domestic and international flights.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that vapour from your e-cigarette is unlikely to set off smoke detectors on an aircraft, as it has happened and it could happen to you. There have been cases of people illegally vaping on Qatar Airways flights who were caught, arrested and imprisoned. 

While these cases are few and far between so you may think that won’t happen to you, the truth is that the risk is still always there and it’s not worth it just for a quick nicotine fix. Don’t be that person, and instead read on for our top tips on how to cope on a flight without your e-cigarettes. It can easily be done, trust us.

The countries where vaping is illegal

Unfortunately, not all countries have embraced the vaping culture quite like we have here in the UK, and there are some areas of the world where the use of e-cigarettes is completely illegal, everywhere.

This is important to note before you travel, as there are some countries which will not allow you to enter the country with e-cigarettes or any other vaping products. This law is taken very seriously, and should you attempt to do so you could potentially face a hefty fine or even imprisonment.

So, where is vaping illegal? Here is a list of countries with vaping bans, correct as of September 2019. 

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Philippines - a complete illegality which could incur a 4 month prison sentence
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore - possession of e-cigarettes is a punishable offence which could land you a $1,500 fine
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand - strict laws mean you could face up to 10 years in prison 
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • UAE
  • Uganda
  • Uruguay
  • USA - this is not countrywide, each state has its own laws
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

In the following countries, vaping is banned unless it is nicotine free:

  • Australia (Queensland and Northern Territories)
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Norway
  • South Africa

All of these rules and regulations can change at any time, so it’s important to check each country’s laws before travelling.

How to cope on a long haul flight without your e-cigarette

vaping on a plane

Despite the fact you can take your vape pen on board when you travel by air, we have already explained that vaping on an airplane is completely prohibited. You are going to have to find ways of coping without whilst you travel long distances.

When it comes to battling those withdrawal symptoms you may wish to train yourself in advance. You have the opportunity to put yourself through a similar time duration to get your mind used to the withdrawal. That way, when the day of the big journey comes along, you will already have an idea of what to expect.

If, after trying the above, you are confident that you won’t be able to cope without some form of nicotine hit then there are patches that you can take on board. Prior to the rise in popularity of vaping over the past few years, nicotine patches were one of the leading treatments to help quit smoking.

You can also curb your cravings by using nicotine gum or spray. In comparison to patches, these products also give your mouth something to do which is a great replacement for the act of using a vape pen.

Back in 2009, popular airline Ryanair became the first to launch smokeless cigarettes. While they don’t operate long haul flights, these products do allow their passengers to get a quick nicotine hit without the added smoke.

Generally speaking, here are a few tips to help make your long journey as comfortable as possible.

  • Bring some entertainment in the form of a laptop or small games console. You never want to be at the mercy of the in-flight entertainment, so having a laptop with some of your favourite watches downloaded and ready to go is one of the easiest ways of passing the time.
    • Wear comfortable clothes like jogging pants and a loose t-shirt. You’ll need to pick an outfit you’re going to be comfortable sitting in for ten hours, so avoid jeans for sure! 
    • Socialise with your fellow passengers and learn more about their holiday plans, you’ll be surprised by how much time you can burn with some good, old fashioned, friendly communication. 
    • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and this will stop you from developing a headache whilst on board. Drink slowly and regularly. You may wish to bring along some eye moisturiser, too.
    • Try and sleep, and bring helpful items such as ear plugs and a pillow to help you do this.

    We do believe that covers just about everything you’d possibly need to know when it comes to travelling with e liquid, but if we have missed anything then don’t hesitate to get in touch and let us know.

    Remember to bookmark this article as a reference point for your future travels!

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