In Thailand, anyone caught vaping could face a prison sentence of up to 10 years and in Singapore, vaping can result in a fine of S$2,000 (£1,200).
In Thailand, individuals caught vaping could face a prison sentence of up to 10 years. In Singapore, vaping can result in a fine of S$2,000 (£1,200), and in Australia, importing vaping products carries a risk of two years in jail. And while these three countries top the list for the harshest vape-related punishments, unsuspecting popular destinations such as Barcelona, have set in place smoking bans, which in some cases have been extended to vaping.

With such penalties in mind, travellers are reminded to check for any vape restrictions at their planned destinations in order to avoid fines and/or prison sentences. And as vaping becomes more popular globally, the regulations surrounding it are constantly being updated, hence vapers should ensure they have the latest information.

Another factor that vapers travelling by air must bear in mind, is the issue of fire risk from vape batteries, especially when flying. Surprisingly, the most common source of battery-related fires on aircrafts are not phones or laptops, but vaping devices. In fact fire departments worldwide have consistently highlighted that there is a low but real risk of vape batteries catching fire during flights:

Vape Pens and Battery Fires

  • Vape pens use lithium-ion batteries, which can catch fire. While the risk is generally lower with smaller batteries like those in vape pens, any lithium-ion battery fire can spread rapidly.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shows that most overheating e-cigarettes are contained without causing harm. However, the unique setting of an airplane makes even a small fire potentially dangerous.

Incidence of Fires

  • Safety organizations have noted an alarming trend with vape pens causing fires.
  • In the United States, there are on average two reports each week of battery-related incidents on planes or at airports . In 2022, vape pens accounted for about 35% of reported battery-related fire or smoke incidents in airlines, which is double the rate from other leading sources like portable power banks and phones.
  • While the absolute number of incidents is small, the relatively higher risk from vape pens is concerning.

How to Reduce Risk

  • No E-Cigarettes in Checked Luggage: Avoid packing vape pens or other battery-powered devices in checked luggage. A fire in the baggage hold can grow out of control if left unnoticed.
  • Don’t Charge on Board: Charging vape pens onboard is not allowed and can increase the fire risk.
  • Inform Crew Immediately: If you notice smoke or fire, inform flight attendants or other personnel immediately. Airline crews have special training and fire containment bags for dealing with battery-related fires.
  • Keep Vape Pens Within Reach: Don’t stow vape pens in a way that might accidentally press the activation button. Treat the devices gently to avoid unintended activation.

Safety first

Just like it is crucial that travellers are familiar with the regulations of their destinations, it is equally (if not more) important that they are aware of the rules related to travelling when carrying the devices. The rules against smoking on planes also apply to vaping and ensuring safe practices with battery-powered devices, particularly vape pens, is critical for the safety of everyone onboard.

ECigIntelligence Sets the Record Straight About Vaping When Travelling

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