The popularity of smokeless cigarettes has reached a point where it is evident that the smoke-free nicotine delivery systems are here to stay. However, it does not mean that the controversies and arguments about the devices have stopped—new arguments are popping up frequently. The most recent controversy involves vaping on airplanes; however, the argument being made may not be the one you assume it is.
When smokeless cigarettes hit the market, there was some concern over whether a cabin full of people would suffer ill health effects from ‘second-hand vape’. The argument now has turned to concerns over fire safety. Last month, there was an incident where a small fire started after a passenger packed his smokeless cigarette in his checked luggage at Logan International Airport in Boston. This has prompted airport officials to ask federal officials to reclassify e-cigs as hazardous.
Passengers on a JetBlue flight to Buffalo, New York were evacuated from the aircraft when baggage handlers smelled smoke. A smoldering bag was removed from the baggage hold and extinguished. Luckily, the flight hadn’t actually taken off or the events could have been very different. After examining the remnants of the bag, the culprit seems to have been a smokeless cigarette—or more specifically, the device’s lithium-ion battery.
Lithium-ion batteries, which are found in everything from laptops to cell phones, have long been linked to being capable of catching fire. While the Massachusetts Port Authority may blame the smokeless cigarette for the incident, any lithium-ion battery that is activated inside a packed suitcase could easily overheat and catch fire. The incident has led many to suggest that smokeless cigarettes should be banned from airplanes; however, the better course of action would be to insist that e-cig components be disassembled packing in checked luggage.
TSA Guidelines for Flying with Smokeless cigarettes and E-liquid
The TSA doesn’t currently have restrictions on e-liquid, or e-cig products—this includes batteries, cartridges, and charging devices. However, any separate liquids will fall under the 3-1-1 carry-on rule.
While it is highly unlikely you’ll have any difficulties with the TSA concerning your smokeless cigarettes (and components), to be more precautionary, don’t declare them for inspection at the checkpoint. If an issue arises, explain that it’s your smokeless cigarette.
Further recommendations include:
- Pack your batteries and charger in your laptop case or with your other electronics