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A Traveller's Guide To Vaping Abroad

Can I vape at the airport?

Vaping restrictions will vary from airport to airport. Most of the time you’ll have to follow the same rules as a cigarette smoker and use designated areas, which might be indoors or outdoors. Bear in mind that after security there will be nowhere to get your nicotine hit, so make sure your vape is packed up correctly, in the right bag, at the right time. And pop on a nicotine patch or use a nicotine pouch if you need to.

Below you’ll find a quick guide on airport vaping policies in the UK, as outlined by Gatwick Airport:

Gatwick Airport

Smoking e-cigarettes is not permitted anywhere outside both North and South terminals. Designated smoking areas are clearly marked outside both terminals.

Heathrow Airport

Prohibited use of e-cigarettes inside the terminal buildings. There are dedicated areas for smoking/vaping outside the terminal buildings

Stansted Airport

Use of e-cigarettes has not been permitted indoors since August 2014.

Exeter Airport

Using e-cigarettes is not permitted inside the terminal.

Belfast International Airport

E-cigarettes can only be used in the designated smoking areas outside the terminal.

George Best Belfast City Airport

E-cigarettes prohibited inside the terminal building - use outside smoking areas.

Birmingham Airport

Treated in the same way as regular cigarettes in the terminal, meaning they can only be smoked in the outside smoking facility.

Bristol Airport

E-cigarettes can only be used in the designated smoking areas.

Cardiff Airport

No use of electronic cigarettes is permitted inside the terminal. They can only be used in the designated smoking areas outside the terminal next to Gate 2.

East Midlands Airport

Use of e-cigarettes has not been permitted inside the terminal since August 2014.

Humberside Airport

E-cigarettes cannot be used within the terminal or outside the terminal entrance. They can only be used in the smoking area.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport

E-cigarettes can only be used in outdoor smoking area.

London City Airport

E-cigarettes cannot be used in the terminal or once you pass through security.

Luton Airport

E-cigaretes cannot be used anywhere apart from the smoking area outside the terminal, located outside the front entrance.

Manchester Airport

No use of e-cigarettes allowed inside the terminal.

Newcastle Airport

Use of e-cigarettes only permitted in smoking shelters at the front of the terminal building and in two more designated areas after passing through security.

Southampton Airport

Use of e-cigarettes is not permitted inside the terminal building or while walking to or from the aeroplanes. They can only be used outside of the terminal building and before passing security.

Other Airports

Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Durham Tees VAlley, Glasgow Prestwick, Leeds, and Robin Hood airports do not provide any information about their policies regarding e-cigarettes.

Can I take my vape on the plane?

When you’re packing your vape for the plane, there are a range of restrictions which will impact you differently depending on the type of vape you use.




Remember that it is illegal to vape or smoke while on a plane. The smoke detectors onboard cannot differentiate between smoke or vapour, so don’t try to be sneaky about it! You’ll likely be arrested, removed from the flight, and fined if you are caught, and different airlines in other countries might impose harsher consequences. Opt for a nicotine replacement option if you’re going to struggle on a flight.

Is it illegal to vape abroad?

Something you should consider - maybe even before you book your trip - is the fact that vaping is illegal in many countries, and others have restrictions in place for authorised vaping.

As always, check the specific laws and regulations for the country you’re travelling to. Here’s a list of places where vaping is absolutely illegal and could land you with a hefty fine or even jail time:

Argentina Lithuania Suriname
Brazil Mexico Taiwan
Brunei Nicaragua Tajikistan
Cambodia Oman Thailand
Hong Kong Panama UAE
India Philippines Uruguay
Indonesia Saudi Arabia Venezuela
Jordan Seychelles Vietnam
Lebanon Singapore
Government guidelines are constantly changing, or adding exclusions and caveats. Qatar banned vaping in 2014, and now possessing or using a vape can land you about £2,200 out of pocket or spending three months in prison. But it’s Thailand which is deemed the worst country in the world to be caught with a vape. In 2019 there were reports of a French traveller having been arrested, charged, fined, jailed, and deported due to this very thing. Imprisonment can be up to 10 years in Thailand, so it’s absolutely imperative that you know what you’re doing.

Make sure you know the difference between ‘completely, categorically illegal’ and ‘banned, unless under certain circumstances’. For example, in Australia you are able to use a vape containing nicotine provided it has been prescribed by a doctor. You could end up with a two-year prison sentence and/or fines of up to £24,000 if you’re not aware or don’t follow this regulation.

The most important thing is to do your research! 

Look into:
- Storing your vape safely for travel
- Where you can vape in the airport, and what's your last chance to do so before boarding
- Familiarise yourself with the vaping laws in the place you're visiting
- Consider the punishments, the fines, the jail time, before attempting to risk it
- Get alternatives in place if you can't vape on holiday (ie. gums, pouches, patches)

29th January 2024