Vaping Abroad? Here’s What You Need to Know
“Oh this year I’m off to sunny Spain…El viva la vaping…….”
Am I even allowed to sub ohm in a Spanish bar?
Drip in a Dutch coffee shop?
Or even mouth to lung in Miami?
Come to that and given many of us think the vape legislation is all a bit Mickey Mouse what wattage [if any] can I use at Disney World?
Such is the ignorance and in some case down right hostility shown towards vaping by some Governments around the world it’s never completely clear where vaping is allowed or even legal.
Throw into the mix the likes of the TPD in Europe – the FDA’s Deeming legislation in the US and flying regulations and we as vapers are facing a bit of a legal minefield.
Beware the Local Vaping Laws
So let’s have a look at the most recent ‘laws’ in some of the more popular holiday destinations – I’ve tried to get the very latest up to date information but as you might expect vaping laws are extremely ‘fluid’.
In other words things are changing all the time and despite spending a couple of days checking my facts – any of these laws are liable to change at a moment’s notice and some sites – particularly Government sites are not updated that regularly!
So if you are lucky enough to be heading somewhere exotic this summer – it would be wise to check with the Foreign Office or your travel agent first – and it may pay to check local laws too.
Think I’m over-reacting?
Well if you’re off to Jamaica or Barbados for instance did you know it’s illegal to wear camouflage clothing?
There’s a hefty fine if you’re caught wearing such clobber and not from the fashion police either!
And NEVER honk your horn outside a hospital in Cyprus – again if you’re caught there’s a nice big fine for you!
So first up let’s look at vapers that fly – and no I don’t mean those of us who use a herbal atomizer 😉
Vaping – Flying and Airports
There are many airports around the world that allow vaping inside.
The most up to date list is hard to pin down however a quick search via our friend Google threw up these airports where vaping is allowed until you pass through the gate.
Sadly most will send you to designated smoking areas which is hardly healthy – however let’s hope as vaping grows so will airports tolerance.
As always and I can’t stress this enough – do double even triple check before arriving just to be on the safe side – as I will keep on saying these laws are extremely fluid!
Here’s a full list of UK airports vaping policies:
You can see the latest vaping regulations in the main UK airports:
- Heathrow: Use of e cigarettes not permitted anywhere on their premises. Allowed in designated smoking areas but Heathrow DO NOT have smoking areas once you pass through security. They do, however, at the time of writing have a Gamucci vape store in terminal 4 which is a dedicated vape zone more on that below. Read More.
- Gatwick: Use of e cigs not permitted anywhere on their premises. As with Heathrow, Gatwick allows vaping in designated smoking areas but do not have any smoking areas once you are through security. Read more.
- Stanstead: Same rules as the above. Read more.
- Manchester: Same as above but Terminal 1 and 2 does have smoking areas in the departure areas where e cigs can be used. Terminal 3 at the time of writing does not have a smoking area in the departure lunge. Read more.
- Birmingham: Same as above. They have a smoking area in the departure lounge where you can vape. Read more.
- Liverpool: Same rules as Birmingham. Read more.
- Belfast: Same rules as Birmingham. They do charge £1 to access the smoking area in the departure lounge. Read More.
- Bristol: Same rules as Birmingham. Read more.
- Cardiff: Same rules as Birmingham. Read more.
- East Midlands: Same Rules as Birmingham. Read more.
- Edinburgh: E cigarette use not permitted anywhere within terminal building. Can be used in designated smoking areas outside of the terminal building.
- Glasgow Airport: Same rules as Edinburgh. Read more.
- Glasgow Prestwick: Doesn’t mention e cigarettes on their website but I would recommend following the rules of Edinburgh/Glasgow airports.
- Humberside: E cig use not permitted on premises. Smoking/vaping areas are located a short walk outside the terminal entrance. Read more.
- London City Airport: Use not permitted. They do not have a smoking area once you are through security. Read more.
- Luton: Same rules as London City Airport. Read more.
- Newcastle: Use of e cigs on the premises not permitted. Can be used in designated smoking areas before and after security. Read more.
- Southampton: Same as London City Airport.
Due to the State by State laws of e cigarette use in the USA it is best to check your individual airport for further information.
Vape Stores In UK Airports
All airports will make you vape in the smoking area (where available) – complaints about this are likely to fall on deaf ears and just cause you frustration. Ride the wave of stupidity and chalk it up to a traveling tale to entertain your vaping chums when you return.
If you are lucky enough to be flying out of Terminal 4 in Heathrow then there is an option. Gamucci have an e cigarette store that is a designated vape zone in the departures lounge.
Vapes on a Plane
I checked the latest info on vaping on planes via the CAA – Civil Aviation Authority – website.
They are very clear with Dangerous Goods Inspector Anita Rosser [love that job title lol] saying:
You can take your e-cigarette or vaporiser on board an aircraft, but you won’t be able to use it in the cabin (much like a normal cigarette)
Unlike a standard cigarette; e-cigarettes, e-cigars, personal vaporizers and electronic nicotine delivery systems all contain lithium batteries, which must be carried in the cabin and not in your suitcase.
As well as not being able to use e-cigarettes on board, you can’t recharge them during your flight. This is to avoid the risk of the device overheating in the cabin.
However when it comes to taking your spare batteries on holiday things are slightly different:
The CAA says:
Devices like e-cigarettes, mobile phones, mp3 players, laptops and tablets run on lithium batteries. These batteries fall into two categories – rechargeable (or lithium ion /lithium ion polymer) and non-rechargeable (or lithium metal) and the rules are slightly different for each.
Rechargeable batteries are allowed on planes, as long as they have a Watt hour (Wh) rating of between 100 to 160 Wh. If you’re not sure what the rating is, check on the battery or on the device, or even on the manufacturer’s website.
If you’re taking loose lithium batteries of any kind on your flight, you can have only two and they must be individually wrapped in either the original retail packaging or taped over to prevent any shorted circuits. You must take these with you in your cabin baggage: they must not be stored in your hold baggage under any circumstances.
Based on that it might be wise to stick with dual or single battery set-ups or maybe even those with an internal battery.
Hopefully when you check in and get asked those annoying questions and you come clean about the vape gear in our cabin bag – the painted lady with the fixed smile will be aware of these rules.
If she isn’t and challenges you – try to stay calm and refer her to the CAA website!
OK so let’s take a look at some of the popular European holiday hot-spots and take a look at local vaping laws.
I’ll never be able to go 8 hours without my nicotine hit; they must allow me to vape in the air, surely?
- Nope – although there are examples of people doing it, airlines take a dim view of vapor trails inside the flight cabin. It is banned.
- …And don’t call me Shirley.
I’ve heard about people “stealth-vaping”, can I do that?
- Stealth-vaping means holding your breath after taking the vapour into your lungs. This will prevent a plume of vapour rising above your seat. You could always give Jacvapour Clear Steam e-liquid a try, that e juice works and gives off very minimal (if any) vapour.
- You can also check out this post for some of the smallest vape mods available.
- The trick used by people is to do this unseen, people will and do complain if they see you puffing away. We are not condoning stealth vaping on planes of course but if you feel the need use common sense and respect those around you.
I could just nip off to the toilet; smoke detectors don’t detect vapour do they?
- Having just experimented with this, all of my neighbours can affirm that smoke detectors can be triggered by a large quantity of vape.
- Do not fill your lungs with vape and blow towards the detector.
- In fact do not vape in airplane toilets at all. This report shows that e cigs will be detected.
Where Can I Vape on Holiday in Europe?
In general vaping in countries within the EU is legal and pretty much tends to follow the same laws as smoking.
Some bars may not even let you vape outside the bar – so it pays to check with the staff to avoid a diplomatic incident over your dripper.
Ok let’s do a quick rundown of a few of the more popular destinations in Europe and how vaping is received.
And by the way all translations are via the internet so apologies if things are lost in translation – hopefully I haven’t called the person’s mother a goat or something…
And I bet you read the phrases out loud with a terrible local accent…as I did lol.
Vaping in Spain
Si Senor yes you can indeed vape in Spain however vaping is not allowed wherever smoking is banned such as inside bars –hospitals – hotels though I’m not sure hotel balconies – so ask!
How to say “Can I vape here please?” in Spanish : “Puedo usar un e-cigarrillo por favour?”
Vaping in Ibiza
It seems to have really taken off on the island of clubbers with a few fancy looking vape shops opened up.
Obviously the island has a more relaxed attitude to many things however they do follow the same laws as Spain so vaping is banned indoors in most bars and clubs.
Vaping in France
Once known as the smoking capitol of the world France has a kind of Gaelic shrug attitude to vaping as in it took them a while to come to grips with the idea!
Three years ago the country banned smoking in public spaces – meaning inside bars – cafes etc and this now includes vaping unfortunately.
How to say “Can I vape here please?” in French: “Puis-je utiliser une e-cigarette ici s’il vous plait”
Vaping in Cyprus
It’s legal and the latest info I could find says it’s OK to vape at the airport and even inside some bars and cafes.
However, one of the forums I visited said vape products – especially e-liquids are hard to find and the batteries they sell are ‘sub-standard’.
There’s two official languages used in Cyprus – Greek and Turkish.
How to say “Can I vape here please?” in Greek: “Boró na chrisimopoiíso éna ilektronikó tsigáro parakaló?”
How to say “Can I vape here please?” in Turkish: “E-sigara kullanabilir miyim lütfen?”
Vaping in Turkey
A lot of my friends head off to Turkey every year and it’s somewhere I’ve never been but really need to see.
Anyway enough of my travel plans – I have scoured the internet for up to date info on Turkish vaping laws and while it is legal there are restrictions on vaping indoors and on public transport.
Reports from travel forums have found vapers have had no problem travelling in and out of the country with vape gear.
Keep in mind at the time of writing there are new security measures in place on flights from Turkey to the UK.
This cabin baggage ban covers all electronic items with built-in batteries and plugs, that are larger than 16cm long, 9.3cm wide or 1.5cm deep.
I for one have never come across a mod that is 16cm long but I’m sure there are many devices deeper than 1.5cm. Maybe if you have removable batteries these can just be carried separately and you would be OK?
So as always, ask your airline for advice before you fly and as for vaping inside hotels and bars, ask first!
How to say “Can I vape here please?” in Turkish: “E-sigara kullanabilir miyim lütfen?”
Vaping in Portugal
Given pretty much every drug known to man has been de-criminalised in Portugal you’d expect the rules around vaping to be extremely relaxed.
Strangely enough not only as the country implement the TPD they’ve literally followed it word for word.
Therefore it is now illegal to vape in clubs – bars – restaurants and even in what they describe as ‘public transport areas’ I assume bus – train stations and airports.
They have also slapped a tax on e-liquids [wonder if they have a heroin tax?] so stock up before you go!
How to say “Can I vape here please?” in Portuguese: “Posso usar um e-cigarro aqui por favour?”
Vaping in Italy
I’m a little unclear on this one – yes they have implemented the TPD but not fully leaving [and I think this is the case] a few key pieces out such as not banning advertising or vaping in enclosed public spaces apart from schools and other public buildings.
So only vape indoors if you have permission, if not play on the side of caution and vape outside.
How to say “Can I vape here please?” in Italian: “Posso usare la mia sigaretta elettronica per favour?”
Vaping in Greece
Despite getting a raw deal from the EU the politicos in Greece have decided to implement the TPD AND have slapped a tax on e-liquids.
Whilst you are good to go when vaping in Greece it is advisable to ask if you are allowed to vape inside a bar – hotel or restaurant.
How to say “Can I vape here please?” in Greek: “Boró na chrisimopoiíso éna ilektronikó tsigáro parakaló?”
Vaping in Europe
I could have been here for days mentioning other European holiday hot-spots but it’s fair to say that many within the EU have adopted the TPD.
Some countries such as Germany are far more relaxed whilst others such as Belgium for instance are a lot tougher and due to that there are fewer vape shops around.
And despite the lenient approach to the use of cannabis in the country’s famous ‘coffee-shops’ vaping in the Netherlands came within a whisker of being banned.
The Government had tried to make the import and use of e-cigs illegal however a court case overturned that thankfully!
However vaping is banned inside the coffee shops in line with the ban on tobacco.
I’m not sure if dry herb vaporizers can be used so check first!
Vaping Laws Around the World
OK lets take a look at some of the more exotic holiday destinations and how relaxed or strict the rules around vaping are.
Again I haven’t been able to cover every single country and if you are heading somewhere not covered then please do your own research because nothing spoils a once a lifetime holiday like getting banged up in the big house!
Vaping in the USA
Despite concerted efforts by the politicians and health officials vaping in the US is massive!
However whilst it’s perfectly legal to vape in America there are so many states and local bylaws it would impossible to list them all here so again do your own research.
Also given the state of the pound these days vape gear prices are pretty much on a par with us here in the UK.
You can check out the Wikipedia list of US States and what vape bans are in place HERE.
Is Vaping at Disney World Allowed?
What about vaping at Disney World or inside my Princess themed hotel room I hear you ask.
Sadly Mickey Mouse says NO!
The Magical Kingdom has lumped vaping in with smoking – including hotel balconies!
If you’re caught you face a hefty fine of up to $500 – thanks Mickey you dick!
So just tell your kids it’ll be Dawlish rather than Disney this year 😉
I did consider putting an American to English translation at this point…
But thought better of it though I do welcome them in the comments below 🙂
Vaping in Brazil
There’s a lot of confusion about the status of vaping in Brazil with some saying it’s illegal and others saying it ain’t!
From what I can gather from various sources is that vaping is not regulated so therefore whilst it is not illegal – it’s not actually legal!
I’m as confused as one of those carnival floats but the best I can do is refer you to the discussion on the hugely popular e-cigarette forum where someone in the know says you’re hardly likely to get your vape gear confiscated as it’s OK for personal use.
Vaping in Hong Kong and China
Daft as it seems vaping in Hong Kong is illegal as the Government has deemed it a poison!
‘Offenders’ can face up to 2 years in jail and a HUGE fine – so be warned.
As to China and the home of the majority of the vape manufacturing giants – again things are a little unclear.
Whilst it is not illegal to vape in the country some regions are subject to tougher laws than others so again it pays to do your research.
Jonny: I’ve recently been in and out of Hong Kong with no issues carrying vape gear in my carry on. I also vaped (inconspicuously I may add) in Hong Kong. But on the other hand I didn’t know the full extent of the penalties. So I’m going to put that down to ‘getting away with it’!.
Vaping in Mexico
Yet another ball of vaping confusing with some traveler’s saying they had no problems whilst others say it’s banned countrywide.
I tried to get the facts but it was like me looking good in a sombrero – unlikely to happen.
There was, however, a post by USA based MT Baker Vapor on e cig use in Mexico.
They state that while e cigarette use is not illegal there are laws surrounding the import and sale.
So again, please do your own research.
Vaping in Maritius
I’d like to say this is where I’m headed though this year I doubt I’ll make Weston-Super-Mare lol.
OK from what I can gather there’s nowhere on the island you can buy vape gear or e-liquid and the black market stuff is shocking!
However, there appears to be no law stating you can’t take your own stuff with you – but again if in any doubt check with the Foreign Office or your travel agent.
Vaping in Thailand
Jonny: There is a threat of imprisonment, large fine and/or deportation when vaping in Thailand as it is illegal to use and import/export e cigarettes. While I was OK personally there are many more stories where vapers were not so lucky. So my recommendation is not to take or use vape gear in Thailand.
My experience vaping in Thailand was when vaping was a little under the radar. Since then things have become a lot more risky. Now this isn’t legal advice, just what I personally encountered so if you choose to take vape gear or vape you do so at your own risk!
If you choose to vape then it should be done discreetly (I was even in a Bangkok bar where the owner vaped and he was cool with me vaping indoors) but and I mean BUT.. Don’t be vaping in public and definitely not in front of the Thai mafia police, they have been known to ‘tax’ foreigners shall we say or face huge fines and deportation.
When I vaped in Bangkok I did so low key. If carrying vape gear and you are stopped for a random search of any kind you could face problems.
On the Islands things are generally more relaxed as the likelihood of bumping into any police at a beach side bar is limited.
I personally had no issues and encountered many vapers as well as Thai’s vaping. You will need to take your vape gear with you of course although if you go to the likes of Chatuchak Weekend market or MBK there are (or were when I visited) stalls selling juice and hardware at the time of my visit.
I personally want my juice from a more reputable source. So passed on these!
Join the Thailand Vapers forum if visiting, lot of info there about vaping in Thailand as well as recommended vendors. There are a number of threads regarding vapers being fined and in some cases arrested. They also cover the latest laws.
Again, I do not recommend vaping in Thailand, you are breaking the law and if caught face hefty punishment. Sad but true.
Further threads with personal experiences and discussion:
Vaping In Bali
OK.. I am going to add one more in here (Jonny writing) as I have also been to Bali where I thought vaping was banned. Well.. From what I could find there is supposed to be an e cig ban in Indonesia.
But in Bali, I must have passed at least 10 vape shops. Looking on google maps there are many, many more!
When I spoke to the manager at my hotel (a fellow vaper) he looked confused when I mentioned vaping was banned and was adamant it wasn’t.
People vape openly here and shops trade very openly here.
They have all the latest gear available and I also topped up my e juice supply with some Glas and VGod e liquid. The one thing I did notice though, the vaping scene there is very much geared towards the rebuildable side of the market.
Vaping was also OK on neighbouring Gili Islands. The fact that certain Mushroom and dry herb varieties are so openly available there it doesn’t really surprise much though.
As for the rest of Indonesia I would vape with caution and do some research.
Vaping In Vietnam & Cambodia
Pretty much the same advice as Thailand, vaping is said to be banned. However, there are vape shops in the big cities and people openly vape.
I personally had no problem entering and exiting Cambodia and Vietnam with vape gear.
Again though, this is just personal experience and you should travel with and vape with caution.
Countries Where Vaping is Banned
OK the post is getting massive now lol.
So here’s the very latest list of countries where vaping is BANNED – as always this list is subject to change but given the overall confusion country to country at least you have a rough idea.
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates (Dubai)
Remember this is the latest info I could find and list is subject to change.
Some countries operate a so called ‘limited’ approach to vaping.
In other words whilst it’s not illegal – there are strict rules you’ll need to adhere to – please check if your holiday destination is one of them!
Traveling Tips For Vapers
I think you’ll deserve a holiday if you’ve managed to read all this – send us a postcard 😉
OK here’s a quick list of holiday essentials for vapers.
And remember to check social media for locally based vapers and vaping associations to get the very latest updates 😉
- Take only what you need
- Use a vape case such as the CoilMaster K Bag
- Sand in your kit is bad!
- Cabin pressure can affect your tanks and cause leaking so empty them first
- Follow CAA guidelines [above] and maybe remove batteries from devices
- Carry your devices and batteries in your hand luggage
- Seek advise from each countries rules on carrying batteries . Many have limits to how many you can carry.
- Keep devices and batteries out of the hot sun
Vape safe and have some much needed fun in the sun!
To Sum Up
As vaping evolves so do the laws across the world.
However, what’s acceptable at home may carry a huge fine or even a prison sentence in another country.
Make sure you check beforehand to avoid any issues and remember in some of the more exotic countries – particularly those with high smoking rates – you are a vaping ambassador so act like one!
Have a great time and Vape On wherever you’re headed!