Is vaping allowed on planes? It’s not a cigarette, just a cloud of vapor. What’s the big deal?

The ban on smoking cigarettes on aircraft has been ongoing and increasing for decades around the world, until the 1990s in the United States when the Department of Transportation banned cigarette smoking completely on planes. It is safe to say that anyone who travels by plane should know that they are not allowed to smoke on board the aircraft. Prior to departure, flight attendants make a safety demonstration announcement which includes that smoking is not allowed at any time onboard the airplane, including vape devices. Throughout the cabin, there are placards that say no smoking or show the symbol of a cigarette indicating smoking is not allowed. Inside the airplane lavatory’s are more signs illustrating and stating smoking is not allowed, and that tampering, disabling, or destroying an airplane lavatory can get someone fined $2000 or more!

But what about vape devices, e-cigarettes, and vape pens? They’re not the same as cigarettes, right? Not true, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA classifies vape devices and e-cigarettes as electronic nicotine delivery systems or “ENDS.” ENDS are non-combustible tobacco products. With the FDA classification of vapor devices as non-combustible tobacco products, the use of vape pens is restricted and persons violating the smoking prohibition are fined the same as those smoking a cigarette. What many people may not know is that the Department of Transportation issued a ban on the use of vape devices aboard commercial aircraft on April 4, 2016. Since then, if you get caught using a vape device on an airplane, you may find yourself subject to an FAA investigation and civil penalty that can be in the thousands of dollars!

If passengers are not allowed to smoke or vape on a plane, why do airplane seats and lavatory doors still have ashtrays if smoking is banned on planes? Passengers are not allowed at any time to smoke onboard an airplane, but if they do smoke, there needs to be a place for the cigarette to be extinguished. Additionally, when aircraft lavatories and passenger seats are installed, they have to conform to the applicable regulations. While some of the newer airplane seats may not have ashtrays anymore, it’s likely that you will still find ashtrays on lavatory doors should someone try to smoke when they shouldn’t.

Smoking is a very expensive habit if not managed well when flying. So, is vaping allowed on planes? No, it’s not. Considering the large fine you can face when caught smoking or vaping on an airplane, and it can become thousands of dollars, it’s best to find an alternative to vaping for the few hours on board the airplane.